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Police relieved of dog-related complaints in Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police no longer will handle calls about stray dogs and barking complaints as the work gets transferred back to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

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HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police no longer will handle calls about stray dogs and barking complaints as the work gets transferred back to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Police had responded to dog-related calls since fiscal year 2014. The city ended its contract with the society after the nonprofit asked for an additional $800,000 to do the work.

However, the Humane Society will receive the additional funds it initially requested under the new contract, bringing its annual total this year to $3,158,425.

“We’ve always wanted to provide these services to the public, but it’s always been a matter of funding,” city Customer Services Director Sheri Kajiwara said. “The public has told the (City Council) and the administration that this is important to them, so we’re happy to be able to provide this to them.”

The funding boost will allow the Humane Society to increase its team of investigators to 12, said Humane Society spokeswoman Jacque Vaughn.

“This will mean we can have four or five on duty islandwide at any given time,” she said. “That’s better, but it’s still a lot of ground to cover. We think we can make it work.”

City officials said the upgraded animal services contract will give police more time to deal with other priorities.

“The police department is just so busy and they shouldn’t have to deal with barking dogs,” said Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi in a news release. “I think this is a win-win because the Humane Society will be getting the extra funds and the police department will no longer have that responsibility.”

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The city said the contract started in August, but there was a delay in bringing new staff on board.

The Humane Society also will continue its normal operations, which include animal admissions, pet adoptions and sterilizing stray animals.