Waimanalo puppy mill dogs start going up for adoption

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - After being in limbo for several months after they were seized from a Waimanalo puppy mill, some dogs are finally going to new homes.

Ted, an eight-year-old male yellow Lab mix, and Kenzie, a seven year-old female black Lab, were among four dogs from the puppy mill that were available at a Hawaiian Humane Society adoption event at Mike McKenna Windward Ford in Kailua.

The car dealership has hosted pet adoptions before, but publicity about the Waimanalo mill dogs boosted interest. People crowded the pet adoption area an hour before it was supposed to open at 11 a.m.

"We kind of expected a bigger turnout because of the news and the puppies (from) the Waimanalo puppy mill, but this was beyond what we expected," said Rose Rufo of McKenna Windward Ford. "It's great. It's amazing."

A total of 232 dogs and puppies came from the mill, including 153 that were actually seized in February. The remainder were born to those dogs while a custody case went to court. Just last Thursday, the mill's owner forfeited custody.

Most of the seized dogs have already captured the hearts of their foster families.

"We're in the process right now of figuring out which fosters want to keep, and so the exact numbers are a little bit squishy," said Mary Okinaka, community partnerships coordinator for the Humane Society. "But I do know that the majority are spoken for."

Ted and Kenzie had to be adopted as a pair. They had been a breeding pair; in fact, Kenzie had been over bred. The two have since been fixed.

Meantime, a six year-old Japanese Chin, or Japanese spaniel, became the first of the Waimanalo mill dogs to find a new home. Rex Parmalee held "Eddie" after signing the paperwork for the dog that his ten- and two-year-old daughters picked out.

"I just found out that Eddie was the first puppy mill dog to be adopted," Parmalee said. "We were just looking for a dog in general. Didn't matter where he or she came from."

"Our main concern is for the animals and their welfare, and that just that they're being taken care of," Okinaka said, "they have homes instead of not being touched, not being able to be cuddled. I mean, who wants that, right?"

There were other dogs, and several cats and kittens, that were up for adoption as well. But Eddie is headed to a new home, to a new and completely different life. And Parmalee hinted that his daughters may give Eddie a new name, too.

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