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Humane Society wants puppy farm to forfeit seized dogs

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:23 p.m. HST, Jun 9, 2011

The Hawaiian Humane Society is seeking to force the owners of an alleged puppy mill to permanently forfeit more than 220 dogs from the Waimanalo dog-breeding business.

Humane Society officials, who said the cost of care so far is more than $240,000, filed a petition in court this morning against Bradley International asking the court to either force the company to permanently forfeit the dogs or to cover for the cost of the care. On Feb. 28, the Hawaiian Humane Society and Honolulu police seized 153 dogs at the Waimanalo business. Since then, 79 puppies have been born to the seized dogs.

The petition was filed in conjunction with a criminal case against the company. Humane Society officials would like the court to grant them permanent custody of the dogs before the criminal case is concluded.

In the criminal case today, a lawyer for Bradley International was granted a continuance for his client. Attorney Jason Burks told the judge in Kaneohe District Court that he was retained just last week and needed time to review the documents.

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

The complaint alleges Bradley International committed 153 counts of second-degree animal cruelty by depriving the dogs of necessary sustenance or sufficient care to preserve their health and well-being. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

If the company is found guilty, the company's officers will face punishment, Kaneshiro said in a news conference last month announcing the charges. 

According to state business records, the chief executive officer and director of Bradley International is Shannon Luke; the vice president and secretary is David Becker; and the vice president and treasurer is Vernon Luke.

The seizure happened after police received two complaints: one involving a barking dog and another involving a woman who was allegedly trespassing with five dogs. Most of the dogs are now in foster care homes until the case is closed. Since the seizure of the dogs, three puppies have died, Kaneshiro said. 

About 30 people showed up at the Kaneohe court today to protest the owners of the alleged puppy mill. Inga Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, said animal cruelty laws need to be tougher.

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