Bill Text: HI SCR55 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Requesting The City And County Of Honolulu To Conduct A Management And Financial Audit, To Include Operations And Procurement, Of Its Animal Control Contract With The Hawaiian Humane Society.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-27 - Report adopted, as amended (SD 1) and referred to WAM. [SCR55 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SCR55-Amended.html

THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

55

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU TO CONDUCT A MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL AUDIT, TO INCLUDE OPERATIONS AND PROCUREMENT, OF ITS ANIMAL CONTROL CONTRACT WITH THE HAWAIIAN HUMANE SOCIETY.

 

 


     WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Humane Society has received complaints by many in the animal welfare community, particularly regarding the high rate of euthanasia of healthy adoptable animals by the organization; and

 

     WHEREAS, using euthanasia to manage dog and cat overpopulation causes health issues and emotional stress in employees involved, increases staff turnover, and has financial, moral, and ethical ramifications for communities; and

 

     WHEREAS, employees and former employees recently organized a group called "People for Animals First" to bring forward concerns about the practices and management of the Hawaiian Humane Society and spark the change necessary to save the organization from further deterioration; and

 

     WHEREAS, the group has provided state lawmakers with testimonies and evidence that under the current leadership, and with the oversight of the Hawaiian Humane Society Board of Directors, the Hawaiian Humane Society routinely encourages euthanasia of healthy or treatable animals, violates standard safety procedures and labor practices, and supports a hostile work environment; and

 

     WHEREAS, under the current leadership, sixty-two workers have been fired or have resigned in the period of roughly one year, a pattern repeated from when the current leadership was at the Hawaii Island Humane Society; and

 

     WHEREAS, animals that had treatable conditions or were underweight were routinely euthanized instead of being placed into foster care with volunteers and rescue groups — a best practice embraced by shelters across the United States to save lives; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Humane Society animal control contract with the City and County of Honolulu rewards the Hawaiian Humane Society for euthanizing dogs, cats, and other animals; and

 

     WHEREAS, a review of the animal control contract annual reports from 2012 to 2016 indicates that there was an increase of roughly twenty-two percent of the funds provided to the Hawaiian Humane Society; and

 

     WHEREAS, while the counties of Kauai and Hawaii have moved forward with audits of the animal control contactors and Maui Humane Society has successfully made changes to reduce its euthanasia rate, the Hawaiian Humane Society has not been audited by the State since 1995 or by the City and County of Honolulu since 1997; and

 

     WHEREAS, although California shelters take in over four hundred thousand cats and dogs per year, their forty percent euthanasia rate is a result of their commitment to following national best practices, which do not appear to be embraced by the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu; and

 

     WHEREAS, the proliferation of affordable spay and neuter options for the public in the past ten years, including The Big Fix clinics and Animal Balance clinics, have greatly reduced pet overpopulation challenges and euthanasia; and

 

     WHEREAS, social media has mobilized the community to aid in returning lost and found pets to their owners, rescuing stray animals, and avoiding surrender to the Hawaiian Humane Society, which has contributed to the reduction in the intake and euthanasia of animals; and

 

     WHEREAS, recent scrutiny involving alleged criminal wrongdoing by various, high-level City and County of Honolulu officials requires the State to take a leadership role in protecting Oahu taxpayers, animals, and the people that care for them; and

 

     WHEREAS, it is imperative that an audit is conducted prior to releasing any state grant in aid funds to support construction of the Hawaiian Humane Society's new West Oahu shelter; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the City and County of Honolulu is requested to conduct a management and financial audit, to include operations and procurement, of its animal control contract with the Hawaiian Humane Society; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City and County of Honolulu is requested to consider best practices for the euthanasia of animals in its audit; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is requested to suspend release of any state grant funds awarded to the Hawaiian Humane Society until an audit clears the organization of any wrongdoing; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Report Title: 

City and County of Honolulu; Animal Control Contract; Hawaiian Humane Society; Audit

 

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