Makaha shelter owners agree to forfeit hundreds of dogs, with one condition


The owners of a Makaha no-kill animal shelter have agreed to forfeit hundreds of dogs.

In October 2016, the Hawaiian Humane Society seized 331 animals from the Friends for Life shelter after they were found living in inhumane conditions.

The organization said the animals were overcrowded and living in their own urine and feces. Several were emaciated, and/or suffered from severe medical conditions, skin conditions or ticks.

Officials sent us video Friday of what the shelter looked like the day they were seized.

David “Lanny” Moore and his mother, June Moore, were cited last month with hundreds of counts of animal cruelty each.

According to their attorneys, the Moores’ intent was always to do what’s best for the dogs, however “they were overwhelmed. They didn’t get much help from the community or the humane society,” said June Moore’s attorney, Paul Cunney. “They survived pretty much on their own dime.”

Photos provided by the Hawaiian Humane Society show one of the dogs, Sophie, when she was first rescued versus what she looks like now:

The humane society had separately filed for forfeiture of the dogs so it can get them into permanent homes.

There were multiple discussions leading up to a court hearing Friday, when both sides reached a compromise.

“What (the Hawaiian Humane Society) needed was for us to agree to forfeit the dogs so the adoption process could start,” said David Moore’s attorney, Daniel Kawamoto, “but the holdup for Friends for Life is, what’s the oversight going to be? What happens if they can’t be placed right away? So the agreement we came to was the 318 dogs, the humane society was going to find homes for dogs. None will be put down. None will be euthanized.”View the forfeiture agreement in its entirety here.

Roughly 250 of them are currently living with foster families, the society said. After months of foster care, many of the dogs are much healthier.

“We are thrilled by the court’s decision today which makes animal welfare a priority and gives the animals the life they deserve,” said Pamela Burns, Hawaiian Humane Society president and CEO.

The society says the dogs will get spayed and neutered before it sets up a public adoption event.

According to Cunney, there are about 10 animals left that are not adoptable, since some have aggressive tendencies. He says the society believes about half will be adoptable eventually, so Friends for Life is looking to see if it can find homes for the rest.

As for the animal cruelty charges, the Moores’ next court date is scheduled for May 5.

According to their attorneys, the shelter is not currently in operation.

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