The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is committed to
handling animal nuisance and dangerous dog complaints
quickly and effectively to ensure public and animal safety.
Animal nuisance: Any animal, farm animal, or poultry
that 1) makes noise continuously and/or incessantly for
ten minutes or intermittently for one-half hour or more
and disturbs anyone at any time of day or night, regardless
of whether it is physically situated in or on private
property; 2) barks, whines, howls, crows, cries, or makes
other unreasonable noise; or 3) bites or stings a person.
Animal nuisance offenses: Violations that usually
include, but are not limited to, 1) unreasonable
noise, e.g., barking dogs or crowing roosters;
2) dog bites; or 3) exceeding the allowable animal
limits per household, e.g., ten dogs or two chickens.
Dangerous dog: Any dog without provocation that
attacks a person or domestic animal, causing bodily
injury to the person or serious injury or death to
a domestic animal or behaves in a manner that a
reasonable person would believe poses an imminent
threat of such injury or death.
Impoundment: Impoundment includes (but is not
limited to) securing the dangerous dog within
the dog owner’s property, having the owner take
the dog to a licensed veterinarian facility or
commercial kennel for boarding, or having the
Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS) respond to take custody of the animal.
For impoundment at the owner’s property, the following conditions should be met:
A. When indoors or outdoors on the owner’s
premises and attended, the dog shall be under
the control of a person 18 years of age or older; or
B. When outdoors on the owner’s premises
and unattended, the dog shall be kept within a
locked, fenced, or walled area from which it cannot escape; or
C. When outdoors on the owner’s premises and
unattended, the dog shall be confined to an escape-proof kennel; and
D. An escape-proof kennel means a structure
that allows the dog to stand normally and without
restriction, is at least 2 1/2 times the length
of the dog, and protects the dog from the elements.
Any gates within the kennel shall be lockable to
prevent the entry of children or the escape of the
dog. When the dog is confined to a kennel or area
and unattended, the kennel shall be kept locked.
Unreasonable noise: Noise which interferes with
reasonable individual or group activities, such
as communication, work, rest, recreation, or sleep,
or the failure to heed the admonition of a police
officer that the noise is unreasonable and should
be stopped or reduced.
A. The public is entitled to relief from animal
nuisance offenses. Enforcement of such offenses
is carried out by the HPD.
B. An animal owner may be cited for any offense
in violation of Chapter 12, Revised Ordinances
of Honolulu (ROH). However, for situations
other than dog bites, warnings are encouraged
for first offenses to provide notice to owners
that their animal is offending someone and to
provide reasonable time to remedy the problem.
C. The HPD shall be the lead agency in the
investigation and enforcement of dangerous
dog and animal nuisance complaints covered
under Chapter 12, ROH.
D. The HHS is authorized to investigate,
enforce, and follow up on dangerous dog
and animal nuisance complaints. The HHS
will also investigate and enforce offenses
related to the cruelty of animals.
A. Communications Division
1. When a call is received regarding an
animal nuisance, the call taker will
ascertain if the caller would like to
meet with the patrol officer(s) to provide
further information. If the caller wishes
to remain anonymous, an officer(s) will be
sent to the scene to assess the complaint.
2. In the case of animal noise complaints
(i.e., barking dogs) the call taker should
ascertain from the caller if suspicious
circumstances exist that may connect the
noise with another criminal offense (i.e.,
trespassing, burglary, or theft) and relay
such information to the police radio dispatcher
(PRD). The PRD shall relay the information to
the officer(s) responding to the complaint.
3. When the case is closed by a field officer,
the PRD shall enter the disposition of the case
into the Computer Aided Dispatch System and
include information as to whether the animal
owner was identified, warned, or cited and whether
follow-up is required.
B. Beat Officer
The assigned beat officer shall meet with the
complainant and investigate the complaint.
The investigation shall include attempting to
locate the owner of the offending animal. The
officer may recommend that neighbors consider
resolving animal nuisances through the Mediation
Center of the Pacific (see Attachment 1). Both
the complainant and the animal owner should be
warned that the center will charge each of them an administrative fee.
1. Unreasonable Noise
a. First Offense
Initiate a miscellaneous crime report for
animal nuisance/noise and present the owner
with a Notice of Animal Nuisance Complaint,
HPD-517 form (see Attachment 2). If the
owner is not at home, leave the form with
anyone else present or in a conspicuous place on the property.
If the situation warrants enforcement based on
an officer(s)’ observation or a written statement
from a witness(es), the offender may be cited.
b. Repeat Offense Within Two Years
A citation is recommended. Because the fines
escalate with each succeeding violation, the
previous offense history must be determined before citing.
c. The courts have held that the offense can
be established either by the complainant or
by a witnessing officer. Even if an offense
cannot be established, the officer should
leave the Notice of Animal Nuisance Complaint
form with the owner of the presumed offending animal.
d. Upon completing the investigation, the officer
shall apprise the Communications Division of the
action taken. If the case is unfounded, it will
be closed as a 60 series- type case in the Case
Report System (CRS). If the case is confirmed,
an animal nuisance report shall be generated,
including whether the animal owner was identified,
warned, or cited. For cases requiring a follow-up
investigation, a copy of the report shall be
forwarded to the HHS via the CRS.
2. Dangerous Dog
If the dog fits the definition of a dangerous
dog, as defined in Chapter 12, ROH, enforcement
is the responsibility of the HPD. Officers
responding to dangerous dog complaints shall
make every effort to ensure that the dog is
no longer a threat to the public. This may
include calling HHS personnel to the scene.
The HHS telephone line (see Attachment 1) is
accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
a. The officer shall initiate a dangerous dog
report and forward a copy to the HHS via the CRS.
b. For instances in which a felony classification
appears appropriate, officers shall handle the
scene in accordance with Policy 4.29, CRIME SCENE:
INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSIBILIES AND PROCEDURES.
c. The officer who initiates the dangerous dog
report and who cites the dog owner for violation
of Chapter 12, ROH, shall determine if the animal
poses an imminent threat to human beings or other
animals. If the dog is found to be a threat to
human beings or other animals, the officer may
order the dog owner to impound the animal until
the owner’s court appearance date. The officer
shall complete and issue the dog owner an
Impoundment Notice furnished by the HHS and
available on the HPD Forms page of the intranet.
a. Impoundment of the dog may include
securing the dog within the dog owner’s
property, impounding the dog at a licensed
veterinarian facility or commercial kennel,
or having the HHS respond to impound the dog
at the HHS facility. In each case, the dog
owner shall bear the costs of housing the
animal during the impoundment period.
Any follow-up work required pursuant to
animal nuisance or dangerous dog offenses
will be handled by the HHS, who will ensure
a dog owner’s compliance of the Impoundment Notice.