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Waianae woman sentenced in animal-cruelty case

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A 56-year-old Waianae woman was sentenced to a deferred one-month jail term after being found guilty of six counts of animal cruelty in state District Court this afternoon.

Ruth Lum pleaded no contest to the charges today. Hawaiian Humane Society officials said nine dogs were left without food or water for up to a month at a remote Waianae Valley site in June. One animal was found dead; the others were nursed back to health by the Humane Society and have been placed in new homes.

Under the terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Lum will not need to serve the jail term if she passes a one-year probationary period without any incidents. District Judge Dean Ochiai ordered her to pay $3,346 in restitution, to be paid in monthly $30 increments, to the Humane Society for the care of the animals.

Additionally, Lum was sentenced to 180 hours of community service. Ochiai said he will recommend to the Hawaii Judiciary’s Community Service Sentencing Branch that she fulfill her community service as a volunteer at the Humane Society.

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