33 dogs, puppies rescued from repeat Kahalu'u puppy mill
It's a case of puppy mill deja-vu as 33 dogs and puppies were rescued from a Kahalu'u home Saturday night. The homeowner, 68-year-old James W. Montgomery plead guilty to a similar case a decade ago, where 64 animals were removed from similar squalor.
KAHALU`U, Hawaii - A gruesome scene of animal cruelty on Oahu's Windward Coast, where past animal abuses have taken place.
Police and Hawaiian Humane Society officials were stunned by what they found Saturday night in the back of a Kahalu'u home on Mahakea Street. A puppy mill allegedly perpetrated by a man who plead guilty to the same crimes a decade ago.
33 dogs were rescued from the back of the home, some from what was referred to as a dank, windowless dungeon. The Humane Society workers who rescued the animals say calling the conditions of their captivity inhumane and cruel only begins to describe the scene.
"They were kept in two separate area of the home. One was like a bunker" said Christina Kam with the Hawaiian Humane Society. She and about five other Humane Society workers rescued the animals and placed them into their care. "It was really sad, horrible conditions that the dogs were in. They were living in their own filth with no water, no food. The stench it burns your eyes. It was very, very horrendous."
"They were in very small cages with no solid floor," Kam added. "So there was open bars that they were standing on this whole time. Some of them were multiple in one area, some of them were single."
What tipped them off about this case of mass animal cruelty was a call from Lydia Montgomery, the daughter of the homeowner, who reported two dogs in a trash bin around 8:15 Saturday morning.
"Upon investigation one live dog and one dead dog was found in the trash can," said Lt. Thomas Santos of the Honolulu Police Department. "Further investigation indicated that a cruelty to animal case was initiated."
That's when they arrested the homeowner, 68-year-old James W. Montgomery.
That name and this situation are a case of deja-vu. In 2006, James plead guilty to 55 counts of animal cruelty and three counts of child endangerment after 64 dogs were taken from the same home in February 2005. Those animals were removed from similar squalor.
As a result of that case, he was fined $7,000 and given a year probation. His wife, Susan Montgomery, also received a year probation for the child endangerment charges.
On Saturday, police were denied access to the home following the arrest. That was around 9 a.m. By 7:30 p.m. police had secured a search warrant and entered the property. An hour later, after evidence was documented and photos taken, the parade of rescued dogs and puppies began.
The bigger animals were taken, one-by-one, and placed into Hawaiian Humane Society vehicles equipped with kennels. Some of the workers exited the home with their arms full of puppies, by the threes and fours.
Once in the vehicles, whimpers and cries could be heard as more and more animals were rescued from the property.
After the animals were rescued, and the scene cleared, Lydia spoke with KITV off-camera. "It's time to heal," she said. "This is the best possible outcome."
Other people who lived in the large Kahalu'u home echoed that sentiment.
Kam isn't sure how long the recovery will take for the animals and did not comment on their particular conditions. That will be the job of the Society's veterinarians.
She did add that if anyone notices cases of animal cruelty, they can always call their dispatch line at 356-2250.
As of Saturday night James had not yet been charged with this new round of animal cruelty charges.