Embattled owners of 'no-kill' animal shelter in Makaha deny abusing animals

Embattled owners of 'no-kill' animal shelter in Makaha deny abusing animals
Published: Feb. 27, 2017 at 11:25 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2017 at 6:13 AM HST
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(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)

MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time since they were arrested in October, a Makaha mother and son are speaking out against the hundreds of animal cruelty charges against them.

"Our animals were not mistreated, they were not abused," said June Moore.

"We're here saving dogs best that we can," added her son, David.

The Moores, who run a no-kill animal shelter in Waianae, are facing 620 counts of animal cruelty charges. Each carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison, plus thousands of dollars in fines.

David, who goes by "Lanny," says he believes Honolulu police officers were given false information when they raided their shelter back in October.

"I saw an M-16 in my face. I didn't know what was going on, they were yelling, they were all over the place," said Moore. "My mom was coming and she's going, 'Why is my boy on the ground?' And I'm going, 'Don't shoot her, don't shoot her, please don't shoot her!'"

In a statement last week, the Hawaiian Humane Society said it confiscated 310 dogs during the raid. Allison Gammel, community relations director, said the dogs were living in deplorable, broken down living conditions and needed to be rescued.

"All dogs at that shelter that day were in inhumane conditions, and all of those dogs will remain in our protective care until further notice," she said.

Gammel says 200 of the dogs have been fostered out since the raid. The others are still looking for homes.

Gammel couldn't comment on if any of the dogs were euthanized, citing the ongoing investigation.

"Currently we have spent upwards of $600,000 for the cost for the care for these animals during the time that they have been in our care, and that cost goes up daily," said Gammel.

The Moores say the humane society should be helping them, not filing criminal charges against them.

"Was I overwhelmed? It's hard sometimes. But it was a great challenge and it's the greatest fun helping and saving animals and people," David Moore said.

"We would like to see them help the small shelters. They have the money," said his mother. "When you have a small shelter, you don't have the funding, you don't have the resources to go out and get funding. But they could come in and help keep the shelter in the condition that it needs to be in."

The Moores say they're ready to defend themselves in court and fight to get their dogs back.

"They're wrong, they're wrong. I feel like crying because this isn't right," said June Moore.

No trial date has been set yet. Arraignment and plea has been set for March 24.

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