Cat mauling trial delayed until late December

Defense lawyer: 'This is a tragedy, but it's not a crime"

Published  6:00 PM HST Nov 24, 2012
Dog Hunter

The family whose cat was mauled to death by hunting dogs will have to wait for longer for justice.

Trial for the two hunters was expected to begin Friday, but has been continued until next month.

The family who lost their beloved pet said all they want is an apology.

"It’s hard.  I have to block it out and try to move on," said Stacey Fujii, referring to the pictures of what hunting dogs did to the family cat, Sweetie.

Back in July, Sweetie was mauled by two hunting dogs that strayed off the trail and into a home across Kuliouou Park.  Sweetie didn't stand a chance.

"We really hope the dog owners assume responsibility for this horrific, horrific incident," said Keoni Vaughn, Operations Director with the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Vaughn was among those in the gallery on Friday for what was to be the start of trial for the dogs owners.

The two men have separate cases, but the judge rescheduled court proceedings for both after granting a request by the attorney for defendant Micah Kaopua to continue the trial because he had just been hired and needed more time to prepare.

Defendant Scott Afong's lawyer said his client would like to settle things between the cat's owner, but outside of court.

"This is an overcharged case. This is a tragedy, but it’s not a crime," said Jeff Willard, Afong’s lawyer.

Fujii said this isn't about money or having the dogs taken away.  She says it's simply about taking responsibility.

"By taking that extra step, hiring an attorney knowing that your dog killed my cat, just means you’re not sorry," said Fujii.

The Honolulu City Council has addressed the issue of loose hunting dogs earlier this year, proposing a resolution calling for stricter enforcement of regulations on pig hunters.

The Hawaiian Humane Society supports improved enforcement.

"We definitely would be in favor of strengthening any type of enforcement on hunting with dogs," said Vaughn.

Trial for Scott Afong and Micah Kaopua is set for Dec. 26.

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