Hawaii Island police are reminding the public that the law allows service animals into businesses and other public places where pets are not allowed.
These service animals are described as any guide, signal or service dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.
A service animal may also be referred to as an assistance animal. These animals are not considered pets. Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses.
Hawaii has specific laws protecting service animals. The intentional interference with the use of a service animal is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in jail or both. Parents are advised not to allow their children to approach or touch service animals. The public is also reminded that all dogs must be kept secured on private property or on a leash if off private property.