KAHALUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A long-time Kahaluu dog breeder is back in the center of an animal cruelty investigation and now says he wants out of the breeding business, for good.
"They've come to his house, they've investigated, utilized a search warrant, gone through his property and obviously scared his family his wife, so he's decided he's not going to breed anymore," said Attorney William Harrison, who's representing James Montgomery.
Police arrested the 68 year old for second-degree animal cruelty Saturday morning, after they found a dead dog and a live dog inside a city trash bin for collection. He was later released, pending investigation.
Saturday night, Hawaiian Humane Society seized 33 dogs from Montgomery's home off Mahakea Rd. Officials say they were living in their own filth, with no food, water or ventilation.
Harrison says his client never intended to hurt any animals. "He's believed he's cared for the animals properly," said Harrison.
It was Montgomery's 20 year old daughter who reported him to police.
"His family is very important to him," Harrison said. "Unfortunately, this one family member is having her own issues and he sends his aloha out to that family member as well, and hopes she gets help for herself."
Inga Gibson, Hawaii Director for the Humane Society of the United States, says the puppy mill business is very lucrative.
"They're making tens of thousands of dollars every year," said said. "Some of these puppies, just one can sell for $1500 to $3000."
Harrison previously represented Montgomery on animal cruelty charges back in 2005, after 64 dogs were taken from his home. It cost the Humane Society nearly $270,000 to care for those dogs.
New laws now require pet owners to pay those costs back, but Harrison says Montgomery refuses to take that route and will fight any charges filed against him.
"He prefers they be placed in homes where people will be properly caring for the dogs, versus being placed at the humane society," said Harrison.
If Montgomery is charged with second-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony, he faces up to 5 years in jail with a $10,000 fine.
Hawaiian Humane Society says no further information will be released regarding the 34 dogs rescued since the investigation is ongoing.