Charges filed in the Waimanalo puppy farm case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Charges filed in the Waimanalo puppy farm case

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's an investigation three years in the making and today the Honolulu prosecutor announced the Waimanalo puppy farm case will be going to court.   

The investigation documented some of the filthy conditions the dogs were housed in at the farm. Some dogs had health problems, others had to be shaved because their fur was so matted.  Now the prosecutor is moving ahead with animal cruelty charges.  There are 153 counts in all which at a maximum would be 153 years in prison and $306,000 fine.

"People who are cruel to animals are also cruel to other people," said Keith Kaneshiro, City & County of Honolulu Prosecutor.

Kaneshiro says he's made animal cruelty cases a priority.

"Those of you who are pet owners or own dogs know that animals when they love their owners their love is unconditional and we feel that love should be returned by the humans," said Kaneshiro.

The defendants are Bradley International Inc., the company that owns and operates the Waimanalo farm.  The company's three listed executives are David Becker who is the farm manager and vice president, Vernon Luke who is the vice president and treasurer and his son Shannon Luke who is listed as the CEO and director.

"I am concerned. It is serious. If my name is on their then I have to deal with it but I haven't had anything to do with the dogs in two and a half years," said Shannon Luke.

The arraignment date is set for June 9. That's when the defendants will enter a plea.  Although Shannon Luke says he'll be on a family trip to Seattle and Alaska at the time and may look to get the arraignment postponed.  He says he has not hired an attorney yet.

In all 153 dogs were rescued February 28, but since then more than 70 new puppies were born from dogs that were pregnant at the time of the seizure.

Some of the dogs are in foster care, others are still at the shelter and some are staying with veterinarians because of their condition.  But overall the Hawaiian Humane Society says they are all better off now.

"The dogs are thriving they came from conditions that were horrific." with horrible matting, and teeth conditions," said Pam Burns, Hawaiian Humane Society.  "They are thriving in the homes of wonderful foster volunteers that have taken in the dogs. They are just in a very different place and very different condition then when we found them several months ago."

Now that charges are filed the Hawaiian Humane Society will look to either get Bradley International to pay for the boarding expenses or the defendants can surrender the dogs to the shelter.

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