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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008County: Kauai
Case Images: 1 files available
Alleged: Kyle Lazaro
Kauai Humane Society officials found 80 dogs in the middle of an unused sugar cane field Wednesday after one owner came forward to complain about the treatment of some of the dogs on the state-owned land.
While most of the dogs were fine, officials found a group of dogs that were malnourished and a few were actually eating the carcass of another. Another dog was found covered in dog bites, officials said.
Kyle Lazaro, 24, was cited for one count of animal neglect, said Dr. Becky Rhoades, executive director of the Kauai Humane Society.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Oct. 15, and his nine dogs were taken to the Humane Society for treatment.
"One owner was bad," Rhoades said. His "dogs were not being cared for."
The seven other dog owners were ordered to remove their animals from the state-owned land, Rhoades said. As of last night, all but one of them had complied.
State officials said they had known the area was being used as a hunting-dog kennel for about six months and were trying to evict the dog owners. But the hunters had ignored signs to vacate the area, a remote field well mauka of Kekaha town accessible only by a cane-haul road.
"You have to go out of the way to find it," said Agribusiness Development Corp. Executive Director Alfredo Lee. "The Humane Society, I'm glad they've done something."
Humane Society officials were notified at 10 p.m. Tuesday, when a fellow hunter called to report the dead dog, Rhoades said.
"There are a lot of hunters who take care of their animals," she added. "They (apparently) felt this guy out of the group was really poor."
All 80 of the dogs were housed in old, and sometimes dangerous, cages, she added, and the area itself could be dangerous.
So all of the owners were ordered to move their animals to other areas or face cruelty charges themselves.
"It's an armpit of a place," she added. "There are junk cars everywhere."
After the Kekaha Sugar Co. closed down, the 12,000-acre area on the Mana Plain was turned over to the state. But it had no security and no gates, Lee said.
The Kekaha Agriculture Association, the cooperative that manages the fields, has put up new security gates in the area, and will "be beefing up security" to keep this from happening again, Lee added. "It's just unfortunate the way they kept the dogs," he said.
The coop and the state plan to use the fields for farming, using compost from the nearby pig farm "once we clean the area," Lee said.
- Star-Bulletin - Sept 19, 2008
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