According to the Hawaiian Circuit Court, David Lee Becker, the ex-manager of the now closed-down Waimanalo, Hawaii puppy mill, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 9:30am in Honolulu, HI. Becker is accused of 153 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty; one count for each animal confiscated by the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS) from the puppy mill on February 28, 2010.
|Puppy mill dog in cage|
In February, 2010, LCA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) went undercover to expose the grisly puppy mill operation, a rodent-infested property where dogs were caged in isolation in their own feces with no sign of veterinary or basic care. Footage was obtained and handed over to the HHS who worked with police to seize 153 sick and injured dogs, most needing emergency medical care.
Earlier this year, District Court Judge David Lo imposed the maximum financial penalties possible under Hawaiian law against Bradley International Inc., the corporate parent company of Bradley Hawaiian Puppies who operated the Waimanalo puppy mill. The fines totaled $685,116.27 but the corporation has dissolved and no assets are available to pay the fines. LCA's SIU investigator commented "LCA and the HHS are extremely disappointed that Vernon Luke (Bradley's mastermind) has managed to escape the charges and now has a new operation on the Big Island."
District Court in Honolulu, HI
Becker, who originally pled 'not guilty', faces a year in prison and up to $306,000 in fines if convicted. On December 5, Becker changed his plea to 'no contest'. Animal advocates nationwide want the maximum penalty for Becker. HHS, LCA and other animal groups have launched advocacy campaigns to raise awareness. LCA's Chris DeRose commented, "It's an important precedent. If Becker walks, animal abuse will continue to be rampant in puppy mills."
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Contact Hawaiian Legislators, Honolulu City Council, and the Hawaiian Media to tell them that you would like to see an end to puppy mills and the inevitable suffering that takes place.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau, State Consumer Protection Office, if you have a complaint about a puppy purchase, store or breeder
- Show your support by adopting from local shelters, rather than pet stores that buy from commercial breeders. If you are in Hawaii, adopt from the Hawaiian Humane Society.
- Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp! to help spread the word.