HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There was no doubt about the ruling. Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kim said there was ample credible and direct evidence of the dogs being subjected to violations of the law. He also said the images of the dogs in filthy conditions spoke for itself.
The ruling drew applause from the animal advocates because it paves the way for the Hawaiian Humane Society to get ownership of the dogs. The verdict also brought tears of joy from foster parents that have cared for them and volunteers that worked with the dogs since February.
"Those dogs were in really bad shape," said Steve Prieto, Hawaiian Humane Society Volunteer. "This is really a great day for people that care about animals."
"I'm not ashamed to say I cried because I was so happy," said Sheree Revilla, foster owner.
"It makes me very happy. She's an innocent little animal and all she wants to do is love you when you come through the door and all she wants is love back and now she has it permanently," said Julia Ward, foster owner.
Various veterinarians testified about conditions of the farm and health of the animals but what mattered most was the images of the dogs living in the filth.
"The old saying about the worth of a picture, it's true and in my view much of the photographic and all of the video graphic evidence in this case speaks for itself very loudly and very clearly," said Judge Glenn Kim.
Judge Kim also ruled the 79 puppies born after the seizure were also forfeited saying they were violated given the mistreatment of the mothers and he was not about to give them back to the defendants.
"Given the specific factual context, it would be an absurd result completely unintended by the legislature," said Judge Kim. "In other words the puppies follow their mothers."
"We're happy with the decision, we're ecstatic and we hope that Bradley International heard what the judge said and we ask they do not post a bond for their care and let us finally find homes for these animals," said Keoni Vaughn, Hawaiian Humane Society.
"It was somewhat disappointing. We understood as far as the 153 dogs that were seized because probable cause standards are extremely low. It doesn't mean guilt. It doesn't mean beyond a reasonable doubt it's probable cause," said Jason Burks, Defense Attorney for Bradley International.
The defendants could get the dogs back if they win the upcoming criminal case, but first they would have to pay for the care of the dogs since the seizure which is more than $380,000 and counting. They will have to decide to pay by Thursday otherwise the dogs would be able to be start being adopted out.
The criminal case is scheduled for November 7. It will be a jury trial.