Welcome to the new year! The Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon our member participation and dues. Your dues enable us to host regular CE, provide scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students, advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession in Hawaii, and give back to our community. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the HVMA has fought for Hawaii veterinarians to be included as essential service providers, provided timely information on COVID-19 updates and resources, and helped to secure multiple pet food donations for affected families throughout Hawaii. We understand that this is a difficult time for many, but if it is within your budget, HVMA would greatly appreciate your continued support.
Dr. Leilani Sim-Godbehere is currently our longest-serving member on the HVMA Executive Board. She was first involved as an Oahu Delegate, then as President-Elect, followed by President, and currently as the Kauai Delegate.
Dr. Sim-Godbehere received her DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1983. She has been in small animal private practice since graduation – first in Visalia, CA and then on Oahu for 18 years. She also held a four-year stint as a Veterinary Medical Officer for the Department of Agriculture at the Animal Quarantine Station from 1986 to 1990.
She is currently working as a relief doctor on a regular basis at the Kapaa Animal Clinic on Kauai and serves as the main caregiver for her elderly mom. She has always enjoyed the camaraderie and the privilege of belonging to such a lofty yet humble profession. Being involved in organized veterinary medicine has allowed her to give a little back to her colleagues and profession.
Dr. Sim-Godbehere’s other passions include her family, her dogs, horse, tortoises, rabbit, cats, and garden. She loves walking, swimming, horseback riding, and skiing. She is thankful to God for all the blessings he has given her.
AVMA held their first-ever virtual Veterinary Leadership Conference in January. If you are interested in honing your leadership skills, CE is still available on demand through March.
AVMA House of Delegates also gathered virtually and held the Veterinary Information Form to discuss veterinary medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic and timing of canine spay/neuter. Action was taken on a number of AVMA resolutions and policies, which can be viewed here.
Hawaii’s AVMA House of Delegate representatives are Leianne Lee Loy, DVM (Delegate) and Carolyn Naun, DVM (Alternate Delegate). If you have any concerns regarding veterinary medicine and the AVMA, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state of Hawaii has indicated veterinarians and their staff are essential health care providers included in Tier 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. To receive more information, fill out the Department of Health survey. The Department of Health will directly contact you to follow up. You may also check their website for updates.
Veterinary Leadership Conference 2021
Registration for the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference (VLC) 2021 is now open. VLC 2021 will be held virtually January 7-9, 2021. HVMA is currently accepting nominations for the designated “Veterinary Leader” from Hawaii, due by November 28, 2020.
Past attendees include Drs. David Gans, Jenee Odani, Aleisha Swartz, and Katie Hancock Reed. Contact us for more information. Read more about the VLC here.
We invite you to explore the Committee and Council positions available this year and in 2021. Please visit the Volunteer Opportunities section of the AVMA website to learn more. As a volunteer, travel, lodging and meals are covered by the AVMA.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late to renew your 2020 membership! The Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon our member participation and dues. Your dues enable us to host regular CE, provide scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students, advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession in Hawaii, and give back to our community. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HVMA immediately fought for Hawaii veterinarians to be included as essential service providers, provided timely information on COVID-19 updates and resources, and helped to secure multiple pet food donations for affected families throughout Hawaii. We understand that 2020 is a difficult year for many, but if it is within your budget, HVMA would greatly appreciate your continued support.
Submitted by HVMA HOD Representatives Leianne Lee Loy and Carolyn Naun
The first Virtual Annual House Of Delegate (HOD) Session was held on July 30 and 31, 2020. Regular Annual Meeting Agenda included: Veterinary Information Forum with open mic discussion, candidate introductions, officer speeches, Informational meeting (AVMF, PAC, PLIT, CVTEA, COE), Reference Committee, and the district caucuses.
Highlights of the meeting:
Discussion, cases and stories of HOD COVID-19
Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine
Two Resolutions Approved: Revised Policy on Antiparasitic Resistance and Transportation of Research Animals for the Purpose of Research, Testing, and Education
AVMA President Elect 2020-2021: Jose Arce
AVMA Vice President 2020-2022: Sandra Faeh
Continuing Education Opportunity with AVMA
This summer, the AVMA’s first Virtual Convention will take place August 20-22. Take a step back from the day-to-day and rekindle your energy and passion for veterinary medicine—without leaving your home!
- Cannabis Symposium
- Companion animal medicine
- Food animal / equine
- Practice management
- Professional development
- Public and corporate practice
- Veterinary technology
Diversity and inclusion
As you know, diversity and inclusion has become a salient issue over the past several months. AVMA leadership has listened, and the HOD passed recommendations to the Board of Directors outlining some actionable steps. The Multicultural Veterinary Medical Organization released a thought provoking video that we recommend you watch if you have not seen it already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Pl4YX_QNc.
Given recent events in Washington involving a Member of Congress who is a veterinarian, we wanted to clear up one misunderstanding we have heard regarding the use of member dues. AVMA does take an active role in advocating for the profession and championing the legislative causes that affect us. This effort is nonpartisan in nature. However, in accordance with federal law, your AVMA dues cannot be used toward political campaign contributions.
The AVMA’s Political Action Committee is a separate entity supported by individual contributions from members. AVMA PAC does support veterinarian Members of Congress, as they understand the challenges faced by our profession and the issues you care about, without regard to party affiliation. You can reach AVMA PAC to provide feedback or to make a contribution at avmapac.org.
Here is a link to the statement from AVMA regarding the reported interaction between Rep. Ted Yoho and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: https://www.facebook.com/avmavets/posts/10163691028363990
Rep. Ted Yoho is retiring from Congress at the end of this year.
Submitted by Michelle Barbieri, DVM
There are lots of ways that you can help Hawaii’s marine wildlife, both as an individual and if your clinic gets calls or inquiries. It may be completely normal for an animal (such as a green sea turtle or Hawaiian monk seal) to rest on the beach, but those sightings are informative even if the animal is safe and healthy. You can encourage clients to report sightings or concerns by calling the state-wide Marine Animal Stranding and Reporting Hotline at (888) 256-9840. This menu-based hotline will divert calls to the island- and wildlife-specific point of contact, and if the call comes in after hours, it will be checked first thing the next day, so always leave contact information for follow up questions. This is the best go-to contact number to keep at the front desk of your clinic or stored in your phone.
Many species (especially sea turtles and marine mammals) are protected by law. That means that even if you are a licensed, practicing, and well-intentioned veterinarian, conducting medical procedures on them requires specialized permits and expertise, so it should always be done by appropriately trained and permitted stranding response personnel. If your clinic gets a call about a marine animal in need, it is best to refer them directly to the Stranding Hotline for assistance. Please do not attempt to treat an animal yourself.
It is also important to give wildlife a safe distance, avoid approaching, touching, or otherwise disturbing them because rest is important to their biology, and they can be a danger to your safety. You can also help by advising clients to keep pet cats indoors, which will reduce the risk of disease spread, namely toxoplasmosis.
Between Jan-July 2020, 18 monk seal pups were born in the main Hawaiian Islands: 5 on Oʻahu, 11 on Molokaʻi, and 1 each on Kaua‘i and Hawaiʻi Island. Encountering female seals that are nursing their pups is a situation in which it is important to be especially cautious, as these seals in particular can be aggressive.
The Fishing Around Seals and Turtles program provides guidelines on how to fish safely around these animals and what to do if a fisherman accidentally hooks one while fishing. Again, if someone contacts you about an entangled or hooked animal please refer them to the stranding hotline.
If you suspect illegal or suspicious activity, it can be reported to: (a) the Hawaii DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) hotline at (808) 643-DLNR, or preferably on the DLNRTip App for your mobile device; or (b) NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline (800) 853-1964. The Stranding Hotline links to DOCARE as well.
For additional information contact: RespectWildlife@noaa.gov
For immediate assistance or to report marine wildlife emergencies call: 1-888-256-9840
If you are interested in having electronic materials with this information that you can print and post at your clinic, please contact Dr. Michelle Barbieri.
On July 1, 2020, the City and County of Honolulu implemented mandatory microchip identification for cats and dogs over the age of four months. This replaces the City and County of Honolulu’s dog license tag requirement, but does not replace the requirement that cats allowed outdoors have visible identification. Any dog or cat without a microchip who is impounded by Hawaiian Humane Society or taken into custody by an animal rescue nonprofit must have a microchip implanted before release. The microchipping obligation does not apply to private individuals returning lost pets or to veterinary clinics, but we hope you will urge your clients to comply with the law. Clients with a new pet who is already microchipped should be informed that they have 30 days to update the pet’s microchip with their owner information.
In addition, the Hawaiian Humane Society will no longer be updating their microchip registry. Instead, they are recommending that veterinarians help pet owners register their information with the microchip manufacturer or with a free online database such as FoundAnimals.org. Pet owners who have microchips implanted by your clinic also have a legal obligation to register their contact information with an online registry within 30 days. Please do not send microchip information to the Hawaiian Humane Society at this time.
Another provision of the new law requires that any intact dog impounded as stray three times in a 12-month period must be spayed/neutered before the dog can be returned to its owner unless a licensed veterinarian finds the dog is medically unfit for sterilization.
Questions or comments may be directed to the Hawaiian Humane Society at email@example.com or 356-2200.
Update from Hawaiian Humane Society
July 1 marked the implementation of the most significant overhaul of Oahu’s animal welfare ordinance in 25 years. It made changes in three major areas:
- Stray animal handling
- Pet identification
- Routinely stray dogs
The pet identification provisions are expected to affect the greatest number of pet owners.
What law has changed?
Revised Ordinance of Honolulu Chapter 7: Animals and Fowl
How did the rules change regarding stray animal holding?
Hawaiian Humane now has legal custody of any stray dog or cat with microchip identification after five days in its care, down from nine. Dogs wearing a current county license tag still must be held for a minimum of nine days. The kenneling fee for stray animals has increased to $10 per day from $2.50. There is still no kenneling charge for animals reclaimed within 24 hours. This is not a legal requirement, but Hawaiian Humane is urging pet owners who travel, particularly if they will not have email or cell phone access, to list their pet sitter or veterinarian as a secondary contact on their microchip registration in the event that their animal gets lost while they are away.
What are the new rules for pet identification?
All dogs and cats are now required to have microchip identification. Pet cats allowed outdoors are still required to have visible identification. That is highly recommended for dogs, as well, but not legally required.
What if you have a current dog license?
Owner information can still be updated with the City and County of Honolulu. No new dog licenses are being sold and licenses can no longer be renewed.
What about microchip registration?
Clinics that wish to upload microchip information should do so with the manufacturer’s database, not Hawaiian Humane. Hawaiian Humane is no longer maintaining a separate microchip database for Oahu and pet owners are no longer legally required to register their microchips with Hawaiian Humane. Under the new ordinance, pet owners who have microchips implanted have 30 days to register their contact information with the microchip manufacturer or a free online database. Similarly, they have 30 days to update any changes to their contact information or to transfer ownership of a pet.
What does the new law say about routine strays, or “frequent fliers”?
Any dog brought to Hawaiian Humane as stray three times in a 12-month period must be spayed/neutered before the dog can be returned to its owner, unless medically contraindicated. Sterilization services will be offered at the Community Spay/Neuter Center, but owners may request that Hawaiian Humane transfer a dog falling under this requirement to a private veterinary clinic upon confirmation of a spay/neuter appointment.
What do we do if someone brings us a lost pet?
Hawaiian Humane remains the official pet lost and found for Oahu. If you need help identifying the owner of a microchipped pet, call the admissions team at 356-2285.
The AVMA Advocacy team worked very hard to influence and improve the Paycheck Protection Program. The Small Business Administration recently released data on the loans and the uptake by the veterinary profession has been significant. About 56% of veterinary practices took PPP loans totaling an estimated $2.1 Billion, with over 80% of the loans being less than $150,000. Over 200,000 jobs in veterinary practices have been protected. A blog posting with data and an infographic can be found at https://www.avma.org/blog/covid-19-loans-are-supporting-veterinary-teams-and-patients.
Congress is working on additional legislation that will impact the PPP, which could include retroactive changes. It is expected to pass before Congress leaves for their August recess. AVMA is actively seeking measures to ensure favorable tax treatment of PPP loan proceeds, and for a streamlined forgiveness process for loans below $150,000, which would include the vast majority of veterinary PPP loans. We have a Congressional Advocacy Network Action Alert out on the tax treatment of PPP funds that can be found at https://avmacan.avma.org/avma/app/onestep-write-a-letter?0&engagementId=508320.