Puppy mill manager given 6 months jail, no restitution
David Lee Becker given 1 year sentence, already served 6 months
They're calling it the worst possible outcome.
The Hawaiian Humane Society is speaking out about the sentence handed down Wednesday for the man convicted of running a puppy mill in Waimanalo.
But the judge in the case said David Lee Becker received the harshest penalty possible by law.
"To say we're disappointed is a huge understatement," said Pamela Burns, president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society, following the ruling.
For nearly a year now, the humane society has been fighting for justice against David Lee Becker. He pled no contest to 153 animal cruelty charges.
"(Becker's action) was deliberate and callous conduct designed soley to provide a bottom line profit," said deputy prosecutor, Janice Futa.
For that, prosecutors said Becker deserved at least 5 years living in a cage of his own, a prison cell.
"The need for the sentencing imposed needs to reflect the seriousness of the offense to promote respect for the law," said Futa.
But Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kim said he was taking into account, Becker's clean prior record, and that all 153 counts would have been tough to prove in a trial.
"This is not a court of 'send a message.' This is a court of law," said Kim. "The bottom line is these are misdemeanors."
The judge handed down a sentence of six months in jail, with six months credit for time served, and no restitution of $371,000 that the Humane Society had requested.
"The lack of sentencing today just allows this man to go right back into business and allow for the suffering of hundreds more dogs. Oh, I hope that does not happen," said Burns.
The Humane Society said it now plans to work with prosecutors to strengthen Hawaii's animal cruelty laws.
The Humane Society is urging pet owners to do your homework if you're considering buying a puppy.
Adopt from the society or only work with reputable breeders.
Find out where that puppy came from, or you could be supporting a puppy mill without knowing it.
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