POSTED: 10:09 a.m. HST, Dec 12, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 3:49 p.m. HST, Dec 12, 2011
The company that operated Hawaii's largest alleged puppy mill pleaded no contest this morning to all 153 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in Kaneohe District Court, averting a criminal trial.
Each count representing each of 153 dogs seized by the Hawaiian Humane Society and Honolulu police in Waimanalo on Feb. 28 carries maximum penalties of $2,000 and one year in jail.
Judge Paula Devens scheduled sentencing for Feb. 15.
But attorney Jason Burks who represents Bradley International, Inc. said after today's hearing that the corporation has been dissolved and there are no assets.
Pamela Burns, president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society, said the society already has spent more than $400,000 in staff and other costs to care for all of the dogs, which have since been placed in new homes.
After the dogs were seized, three dogs died and 79 puppies were subsequently born.
Humane Society officials were prepared to show graphic images of dogs that were kept in cages filled with feces and urine.
The charges against Bradley International alleged 153 counts of second-degree animal cruelty by depriving the dogs of necessary sustenance or sufficient care to preserve their health and well-being. The Humane Society successfully won a civil suit seeking permanent custody of the 153 dogs and their puppies.
The case broke on Feb. 28 when a Honolulu police officer responded to a barking-dog complaint from the dog-breeding operation — as well as another allegation that a woman with five dogs was trespassing.