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Kokua Line

Humane Society investigates trouble with neighbors’ dogs

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Question: I have a neighbor who has several dogs, and the smell from their droppings is awful. Both my husband and I have asthma. The smell is overwhelming, and the dogs bark late at night and at all hours.

Answer: The state Department of Health used to investigate all complaints about dog dropping nuisances on private property.

However, with limited staff and resources due to budget cuts, it no longer can do so, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Instead, phone consultations are available. Call 483-2535 and "a determination will be made on the severity of the situation and whether further state involvement is warranted," she said.

Okubo noted that neighbors often can resolve these types of problems just by talking with each other and "developing a mutual understanding."

If not, the Hawaiian Humane Society may be able to help.

The agency handles complaints about incessant barking (continuously for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes or longer) for the city.

Since both incessant barking and poop that’s out of control are involved, "perhaps there may be potential for other issues that may indicate cruelty," said Humane Society spokeswoman Jacque LeBlanc.

She suggested contacting the agency so it can investigate. Call 356-2250.

Question: Our neighbor’s dog has been barking and howling since 8 p.m. It is now 3:30 a.m., and I just want to get some sleep. The owners keep him on a very large heavy chain, possibly chained to the front door. Every time they leave, he just barks and howls. I don’t want any neighbor conflict. Can somebody please help educate them on how to train their dog so he doesn’t disturb us every single night they leave him alone?

Answer: See the answer above about contacting the Hawaiian Humane Society.

The agency will send a warning letter to the owner, as well as information on how the owners can try to alleviate the excessive barking. (See hsblinks.com/2hb for information on how complaints are handled.)

Somewhere down the line, if the problem is not resolved, you or your neighbors may need to get more involved, including possibly testifying in court.

"The law we enforce states ‘barking to the disturbance of others,’" said Humane Society spokeswoman Jacque LeBlanc.

So while a complainant’s name can be kept confidential, the complaint cannot be an anonymous third-party referral, she said.

"In order to follow up on the complaint, we need to have someone submit a letter or verbally tell us," essentially having someone validate the disturbance, LeBlanc said.

 

MAHALO

To Paul and his staff at No Fear Hawaii in Windward Mall for their assistance in the recovery and return of my cell phone. My son and I went to the Big Boys Toys Expo at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall last Friday, and my phone slipped out of its plastic holster. Paul had a booth set up at the Expo, and a member of his staff saw the phone, picked it up and turned it in to Paul. Unfortunately, I had the ringer turned off, and they did not hear me calling the phone. However, Paul safeguarded the phone, contacted me and promptly returned it. Thank you also to the Blaisdell Box Office (June) and MMA Hawaii staff for their assistance in trying to locate the phone. It’s nice to know that there are caring and honest people out there doing the right thing. — A. Kimura

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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