POSTED: 12:45 p.m. HST, Sep 8, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 1:53 p.m. HST, Sep 8, 2011
A hearing got under way in state Circuit Court this morning on whether the owners of an alleged puppy mill in Waimanalo will have to permanently forfeit more than 220 dogs or pay the tab to care for them until the case is resolved.
The hearing is expected to last two days, with the Hawaiian Humane Society calling numerous witnesses to testify.
Ellen Yee, a neighbor of the breeding facility testified this morning she had made numerous complaints against it and complained of "lots of barking; horrible smells."
The odor was so bad, "my customers and my workers would get nauseous," she told Judge Glenn Kim.
The Hawaiian Humane Society said in June the cost to care for the confiscated animals had already exceeded $240,000. The organization is seeking to force Bradley International, the company that owns the dog-breeding business, to grant it custody of the dogs.
On Feb. 28, the Hawaiian Humane Society and Honolulu police seized 153 dogs at the Waimanalo business, and 79 puppies had been born to the seized dogs since.
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.