Thursday, November 26, 2015         

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Dog farmers' trial set in cruelty allegations

By Gregg K. Kakesako


The company that owns and operated what the Hawaiian Humane Society described as a Waimanalo puppy mill will be in court next month in criminal and civil cases involving alleged animal cruelty.

The trial on a criminal complaint of 153 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against Bradley International will be heard Aug. 22 by Circuit Judge Ed Kubo. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

The Humane Society also filed a lawsuit seeking permanent custody of the 153 dogs seized May 26, and 79 puppies born to the dogs.

Keoni Vaughn, Hawaiian Humane Society operations director, said a hearing on the suit will be held Aug. 9.

Attorney Jason Burks, representing Bradley International, entered pleas of not guilty Thursday morning before Circuit Judge Richard Perkins.

After the brief arraignment, Burks told reporters that the Humane Society and city prosecutor's office "has not accurately portrayed" what Vaughn described as "the largest puppy mill bust."

"Right now there is a very small picture of what happened in this case," Burks said.

He said the forfeiture proceeding will provide a broader picture "because I think it's (the puppy farm) not accurately being portrayed at the present time by the Humane Society and the prosecutor's office."

Vaughn said he was "disappointed" that Bradley International has not surrendered the dogs.

"We were really hoping that Bradley International would do the right thing. These animals were living in deplorable conditions. And the right thing would be to surrender these animals," Vaughn said.

Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro filed 153 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against Bradley International on May 26.

On Feb. 28 the Hawaiian Humane Society and Honolulu police seized the dogs after police received two complaints: one involving a barking dog and another involving a woman who was allegedly trespassing with five dogs.

The seized animals are in foster care, veterinary clinics and at the Humane Society, Vaughn said.

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