(BIVN) – As of today – July 1, 2024 – animal control services in Hawaiʻi County will no longer be under the management of the police department.
Hawai‘i County Animal Control Services has transitioned to become the Animal Control and Protection Agency, its own agency falling under the Mayor’s Office.
The Hawaiʻi Police Department issued this news release ahead of the July 1st transition date:
Hawaiʻi County assumed responsibility of Animal Control Services on July 1, 2021, after the contract with Hawai‘i Rainbow Rangers ended on June 30, 2021. For the past two years, the responsibilities of Animal Control have been under the Hawai‘i Police Department as part of a two-year pilot project.
Earlier this year, Hawai‘i County Council passed Bill 22, creating a new Animal Control and Protection Agency, which will fall under the Office of Management (Mayor’s Office.) The County is in the process of hiring a new Administrator and an Administrative Services Assistant for this new Agency and anticipates that at least one of the positions will be filled by the end of June.
Hawai‘i Police Department wants to assure the public that animal control services will continue in much the same way while it transitions to a new agency.
As a reminder, the phone numbers for animal control services will remain the same with (808) 327-3558 serving as the phone number for lost pets and non-emergencies. Calls regarding animal control services are categorized as Priority One, Two, or Three, and that will also remain the same for the time being.
Priority One calls include those for injured animals, any animal that is a public safety risk, animal cruelty, and situations in which an animal’s owner has been arrested or died with no family to pick up the animal. For animal emergencies, people can continue to call the Police Dispatch number at (808) 935-3311.
Priority Three calls pertain to deceased animals on the roadway. If people come across a deceased animal on a county road please call the Department of Public Works Highways Division at (808) 961-8349. If the deceased animal is on a state Highway or road, please call the State Department of Transportation Highways Division at (808) 933-8866.
Priority Two calls pertain to lost or found pets. Here are several steps you can take if you find a stray animal or lose a pet.
What To Do if You Find a Stray Animal or Lose a Pet
People who find healthy stray animals are encouraged to have the animal scanned for a microchip by a County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Officer, at a veterinarian’s office, or by a local rescue group. If a found animal is microchipped, veterinarians can try to find its owner by searching for microchip on my24pet.com.
People who find a healthy stray animal or who lose a pet are encouraged to post it as lost / found on lost.petcolove.org. Petco Love Lost is a searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier.
This simple-to-use tool will be easily accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet. Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community.
There are a handful of organizations across the island using this technology, including Hawai‘i County Animal Control and Protection Agency, Hawai‘i Animal Kuleana Alliance, and Hawai‘i Island Humane Society.
Individuals who have questions regarding a lost or found pet can also contact the Hawai‘i County Animal Control and Protection Agency at (808) 327-3558.
As Animal Control transitions to a new agency, people who find an injured stray animal are encouraged to call the police department’s non-emergency line (808) 935-3311.
The Hawai‘i County Animal Control and Protection Agency will continue to manage the shelter facilities in east and west Hawai‘i with kennel staff caring and feeding the animals.
Hawaiʻi Police Department thanks Hawai‘i Island residents for their patience during this transition period.