One man was arrested and more than 250 dogs were seized Wednesday from an animal shelter in Makaha.
The seizure took place at Friends for Life, a nonprofit registered with the state as a no-kill animal rescue shelter. The organization was incorporated in 2007 and has completed annual filings for every year since then.
A Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman said officers executed a search warrant at the property Wednesday morning and arrested a 60-year-old man for investigation of one count of second-degree animal cruelty. The man was arrested at 7:20 a.m., police records showed.
More than 250 dogs were recovered and taken to the Hawaiian Humane Society, she said.
Humane Society spokeswoman Suzy Tam was helping society investigators, who were still collecting dogs at about 8 p.m. She said the animals were being held in deplorable conditions, contaminated with feces and urine. She said there was a variety of dog breeds being held in various types of kennels.
She said she didn’t know what prompted the Humane Society and police investigation.
The society said in a statement that the dogs were living in “inhumane” conditions and the staff was evaluating each dog’s health.
Blossom Aona, who volunteers at the shelter three times a week, said by phone that police arrived at 6 a.m. before the staff began the daily cleaning, which was one reason the facility was somewhat messy.
Then police prohibited the shelter from video-recording the event, Aona said.
She said the no-kill shelter is a direct competitor to the Humane Society.
“They have been looking for an excuse to invade the shelter because Friends for Life is a no-kill,” she said.
She said the Humane Society euthanizes animals, and that is why people bring their animals to Friends for Life, including police officers who drop off abandoned dogs and people who leave animals tied to the fence. She said the man who was arrested is the main caretaker and doesn’t turn dogs away, even if they are in poor condition.
The president of Friends for Life is listed in state records as June Moore, who is also the owner of the residential property where the shelter is located at 83-592 Farrington Highway, across from Keeau Beach Park.
With the influx of dogs, the Humane Society asked the public for donations of wire crates or towels, or to assist by volunteering at its Waialae Avenue campus.