Never leave your dog alone in the car
: I have been confronted on a couple of occasions by police telling me that I'm being cruel to my dog by leaving her in a locked car with the windows slightly open, which is enough for her to have enough air. I have read the Hawaii Revised Statutes about cruelty to animals, and there is nothing in the statute that makes it illegal to leave a dog in a car with proper ventilation. My dog is well fed and well kept and in no way malnourished nor abused. The claim is that I threaten my dog's life by leaving her in the car and the car will overheat and the dog could die of overheating. This is not possible in my case because my dog is not in a heated car for very long. What authority do police have to cite someone for something that is not addressed in the Hawaii Revised Statutes?
Answer: It is addressed in state law, according to the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Section 711-1109(1)(d) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes deals with general animal cruelty and would be the one police would use to cite someone who might be endangering a pet by leaving it unattended in a vehicle, said Pamela Burns, executive director of the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Specifically, the law says a "person commits the offense of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly ... carries or causes to be carried, in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner."
The offense is a misdemeanor.
The humane society warns, "Don't ever leave your pet in the car," because even on mildly warm days, the temperatures can become deadly inside a car within a very short time.
"The concern comes up when the dog is in a car without enough ventilation, and the temperatures can rise very quickly on a hot day," Burns said.
The problem is that dogs, as well as rabbits, birds and cats, don't perspire like human beings, so they are susceptible to heatstroke, according to the Humane Society.
And it says the most common cause of heatstroke is leaving the animals in a parked car.
Within 10 minutes, on a hot day, the temperature inside a car can reach 160 degrees.
Cracking the windows simply is not enough to keep the car cool enough for a pet.
If anyone suspects an animal is being abused or is in danger, the Hawaiian Humane Society advises calling it immediately at 356-2280 or the Honolulu Police Department at 911.
To two guys who helped me on Thursday, Sept. 13, when I was having car problems on Pali Highway. They followed me to a mechanic so I could get my car checked out. I was not able to get their names, but they were with the road crew that is repaving Pali Highway. It was really nice of them to help me out in my time of need, and I just wanted to send them a small thank-you, hoping that they'll read this. They were a blessing from God and a much-needed help. -- Wendy
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