City agencies pick up dead pets on roads
It's an everyday sight along the roadway -- what's left of a cat or dog that's been hit and killed by a car, sometimes beyond recognition. Who is responsible for removing the remains? Is a check made of any ID tags or microchips the Hawaiian Humane Society recommends so the owner can be notified?
Answer: The city Department of Environmental Services' Refuse Division is responsible for picking up dead animals from city roads within the Honolulu District, while the Department of Facility Maintenance does so on city roads in all other areas.
All animals are routinely checked for identification.
"We keep a record of the description of the animal and when and where the animal was picked up," said David Shiraishi, Refuse Division administrator. "We scan for implanted microchips and report any information relating to microchips or animal licenses to the Humane Society."
The Honolulu District is bounded by Halawa Stream, which flows through the Aloha Stadium parking lot, to and including Kalama Valley in Hawaii Kai. Call 523-4424.
The city's other dead animal pickup district offices are: Aiea/Pearl City/Ewa, 455-1725; Haleiwa/Waialua, 637-4795; Kailua-Waimanalo, 262-4346; Kaneohe, 247-3553; Laie, 293-5657; Wahiawa/Mililani, 621-5241; and Waianae, 696-3421.
For state roadways, the Department of Transportation advises calling H-3 Tunnel operators at 485-6200, because operators are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If the animals have ID tags, highway cleanup crews will attempt to notify owners by phone and, if unsuccessful, will notify the humane society.
"Unfortunately, this is not possible for animals with implanted microchips, as pickup crews are not equipped with scanners to read the information," a DOT spokesman said.
Also, unfortunately, there is no proper place the DOT has to store a dead animal, and the condition of the animal is usually such that "we have to dispose it right away for public health reasons," said spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
State roadways include the H-1, H-2 and H-3 freeways, Ala Moana Boulevard, most of Farrington Highway, Waialae Avenue near Kahala Mall, Vineyard Boulevard, Sand Island Parkway, and the Likelike, Pali, Kalanianaole, Kamehameha and Nimitz highways.
In the May 8, 1998, Kokua Line, we noted a program in which 21 veterinary clinics volunteered to hold dead animals brought to them at no charge until they could be picked up by the city.
However, Shiraishi said the city has not picked up dead animals from veterinarians or animal hospitals for years. When it offered to do so more than 10 years ago, the city asked that the name and number of the "good Samaritan," a description of the animal and the location where it was found be recorded, he said.
"We had very few requests for the service," Shiraishi said, so "the service is no longer provided."
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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