Lanikai residents rally for stricter laws for aggressive dogs

Residents in Lanikai are banding together following a violent dog attack in the neighborhood earlier this week.

On Sunday, dog owners rallied for stricter laws for aggressive dogs and to raise awareness.

On July 3, two large dogs attacked a pair of small dogs while they were out for a walk with their owner.

The attack left the dogs with life-threatening injuries and their owner wound up with injuries, too.

The two dogs are out of the veterinary hospital, but they’re not out of the woods just yet.

Alesia Barnes told KHON2 it’s going to be a long and expensive road to recovery for her two dogs, Daisy and Jenny.

“Thus far, we’re well over 15 grand. Daisy may need another two surgeries. Daisy is not adapting well at home,” Barnes said. “She is terrorized of just the grass. It’s heartbreaking, it’s just heartbreaking.”

On Sunday morning, several residents held signs and marched around the Lanikai loop to send a message to the community.

“Training is the key – socialization,” Yvonne Sylva said. “One of the things we want to make very clear is it’s not about a specific breed. It’s about everybody being responsible as pet owners.”

Sylva helped organize the walk and said residents want tougher laws that will hold pet owners accountable.

“If you have a vicious dog, there would be liability insurance that you would have to carry for, say a million dollars, or an annual licensing fee of $500,” Sylva said.

According to the law as it stands now, a dangerous dog is one that attacks a person or animal without being provoked.

Other ideas include requirements to keep dangerous dogs indoors or in a secure and contained area outside.

Residents have contacted city leaders, and state lawmakers are next on the list. But they said more people need to get on board.

“We can’t do it on a small scale and we can’t do it just as a community. We want everybody to come together to begin to change the laws,” Sylva said.

Meanwhile, Barnes said her dogs will need ongoing care for their injuries. She’s also hired an attorney.

“They have ten meds between them that have to be given. It’s a lot of rehab,” Barnes said.

The dogs who attacked the smaller dogs are still being held temporarily at the Hawaiian Humane Society.

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