Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Dog Leash Ordinance Clearly Being Ignored

August 17, 2014, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated August 25, 10:58 AM
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The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Photo by Nate Gaddis.

Photo by Nate Gaddis.

Q: I read the story in the paper about the woman who collapsed at Costco and was saved. My husband had a similar experience at San Jose Airport. He was saved by quick-thinking passengers and airport staff who used CPR and the AED (automated external defibrillator) equipment at the airport. How can we get more of these installed in schools, shopping centers, offices, restaurants, at the beach, stadiums, and other places? Someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest or other life-threatening situation needs immediate help. AEDs can save lives.

A: I agree, using an AED can help save a life when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest. The county has installed these easy-to-use devices in all Maui Police Department patrol cars and at many other county facilities such as fire stations and on every floor of the County Building.

County employees are offered free CPR and AED training and certification, and an annual training is conducted for MPD. When a person has collapsed and their heart has stopped, they have a 50% chance of surviving if CPR is applied; they have a 70% chance of surviving if an AED is used.

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I urge all private businesses, agencies, churches and organizations to learn more about obtaining an AED, as it is possibly one of the best investments that can be made. The American Heart Association of Hawaii Maui Division can help answer questions you may have about the life-saving devices, and about related training you can offer your employees or members. Visit www.heart.org or call 244-7185. Please don’t wait until you lose a loved one to take CPR or AED training — the time to learn how to help is now, not during an emergency.

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Q: I am a visitor to Maui and have enjoyed my stay here for a month. During my stay I was a frequent visitor to Baldwin Beach. Although I enjoyed my outings, there was one aspect that was not enjoyable: all the dogs running around on the beach. Although there were some signs posted that require dogs to be leashed, this county ordinance is obviously ignored.

A: First off, to report a leash law violation, please call the Maui Humane Society at 877-3680, extension 29; you can also document the violation if you have a cell phone or other camera handy.

Maui County regulations are intended to ensure the humane treatment of Maui’s pets and the safety of our community, and restraint regulations such as leash laws protect public safety, as well as your pet, from any number of unpredictable dangers. Maui Humane Society humane officers are tasked with enforcement of these laws; they also serve as educators and facilitators to pet owners all over the island.

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Under county and state statutes, MHS officers have the same authority and powers as a police officer to issue citations in the event that animal regulations or laws are violated, such as in the case of the dogs you observed running loose at the beach.

This presents a dangerous situation for both animals and humans, as dogs that are allowed to run loose are at great risk of becoming lost, injured or killed. In addition, a loose dog can be a nuisance or threat to people and other animals.

For this reason, the county has opened a dog park in Central Maui where pet owners can allow their dog to run leash-free in a controlled environment, rather than at the beach. We are also working on a second dog park in Makawao, where the community has worked hard to help make that a reality. Maui County Code 6.04.040 requires that your dog be under restraint at all times on the owner’s property, or on property other than the owner’s, a dog must be secured on a leash of not more than 10 feet in length and a responsible person must hold the leash. This includes all beaches and parks in Maui County except leash-free dog parks.

Leash law violations bring a fine of not more than $500. The minimum fine is not less than $50 for a first violation; a fine of not less than $100 for a second violation within five years after a prior violation; and a fine of not less than $200 for a third violation within five years after two prior violations.

Q: I received my real property tax bill in the mail and need to pay it in time for the deadline this week (August 20th). Can I pay my bill online?

A: Yes, you can pay your real property tax bill online at www.mauicounty.gov/RPT; click on “Tax Payment Methods,” then “Electronic Payment Options.” You can pay online or by phone using your Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover credit card, as well as with a debit card or electronic check drawn on a US bank account in US dollars.

Credit cards or debit cards are not accepted for payment of real property tax at the counter at the service center at Maui Mall. Keep in mind that an administrative fee is charged by the service provider for the convenience of paying online. The County of Maui does not receive this fee, which is applied to each property tax payment processed. The service fee is 2.35% of the total amount being paid for with a credit card. Fees for debit card payments are a flat rate of $3.95. Fees for electronic check payments are $1.49.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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