PET BOAR'S DEATH SHOWS NEED FOR TOUGHER LAWS
Having been born and raised on O'ahu, I was shocked to hear about Porky, the beloved family pet that was slain by two men who broke onto a Mililani property and killed him as he slept. Although The Honolulu Advertiser failed to cover this story, Hawai'i residents need to know about it.
Equally appalling as Porky's killing is the fact that under the law, this act of animal cruelty ranks as a mere misdemeanor. Hawai'i is one of just six states in which any act of animal cruelty — no matter how twisted and violent — can only be punished with a slap on the wrist.
Under Hawai'i's antiquated laws, the violence committed by Porky's killers will be treated even less seriously than a home burglary. Had the target been stereo equipment or money rather than the family pet, the crime likely would have been treated as a felony right away.
All Hawai'i residents should be outraged and moved to action by this brazen act of cruelty and its weak penalties. They should call upon their legislators to finally pass a law bringing Hawai'i up to speed with the rest of the country by making animal cruelty a felony.
Gloria Wong Huemer
November 9, 2006
National group urges prosecution in pet pig's death
HONOLULU (AP) — The Humane Society of the United States has asked City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle to fully investigate and prosecute an animal cruelty case involving a Mililani family's 300-pound pet pig.
"Porky" was stabbed to death early Oct. 22 in an attack by two men and their dogs, the society said.
The group, in a letter issued today to Carlisle said it is concerned "because of the apparent callous, gratuitously cruel nature of the killing, magnified by the fact that the men were apparently unaffected by the screams of witnesses begging them to stop the massacre."
"The seeming malice with which the killing was carried out, heedless of its effects on Porky's family members, is particularly troublesome and speaks to a disturbing propensity toward violence that we fear may carry over to affect people as well, given the well-proven connection between cruelty to animals and violence against people," said Dale Bartlett, the society's national deputy manager of animal cruelty issues.
He urged Carlisle to seek significant jail time and psychological counseling in the event the men responsible are successfully prosecuted for violating the state's animal cruelty law. Jim Fulton, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said today that one suspect has been identified and the office is looking at filing charges at the appropriate time.
On Saturday, television station KHNL reported the Pig Hunters Association of Oahu had spoken out against the killing, saying it gave law-abiding pig hunters a bad name."What they did was straight wrong," pig hunter Cory Vidinhal said. "To kill it and try to take it. It's just sick. These guys just aren't right."
Makaha man to be charged in stabbing pet pig to death
By Rod Ohira
Trapped by several hunting dogs in a garage, between a washer and dryer, the 300-plus pound pig squealed in fear before a Makaha man allegedly ignored pleas from the pet's owner and stabbed it to death, witnesses told police.
Porky was no feral pig. Rather he was a beloved pet and celebrity of sorts, who had appeared in the popular television series "Lost," a local airline commercial, and had several other TV commercial offers pending.
The pig was killed last month by a man trespassing on private property, a 130-acre lychee farm on Kapanoe Street at the top of Mililani Mauka, police said.
"This is really sick, it makes no sense ... there's no sport in it," Detective Randall Borges said of the killing.
The Makaha man, who had been identified through ongoing investigation, surrendered to police at the Wahiawa station Wednesday and was arrested for felony livestock theft. He is expected to be charged today.
The man has a criminal record; he was convicted in 2000 for kidnapping his then-girlfriend in the parking lot of the Wai'anae police station. He served one year in prison and five years' probation.
The 5-year-old pig's owner is the resident manager of the lychee farm. Borges said the manager had caught the suspect trespassing two weeks before the pig was killed and had warned him not to come back. The man and two other pig hunters returned Oct. 22 with five dogs, said Borges.
According to witnesses, Porky was sleeping in a bed of grass when five dogs chased him into the garage.
"The people were right there in his face, telling him to get the dogs out, that he was trespassing and not to kill the pig because he was a pet," Borges said. "They heard the pig squealing and then there was silence."
The man allegedly went into the garage, killed the pig and dragged it out and left it in front of its owner, police said.
The incident is drawing the attention of national pet groups.
The Humane Society of the United States yesterday asked City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle to fully investigate and prosecute the man.
In a letter to Carlisle, the organization expressed its concern "because of the apparent callous, gratuitously cruel nature of the killing, magnified by the fact that the men were apparently unaffected by the screams of witnesses begging them to stop the massacre."
Dale Bartlett, the society's national deputy manager of animal cruelty issues, said, "The seeming malice with which the killing was carried out, heedless of its effects on Porky's family members, is particularly troublesome and speaks to a disturbing propensity toward violence that we fear may carry over to affect people as well, given the well-proven connection between cruelty to animals and violence against people."
Bartlett urged Carlisle to seek significant jail time and psychological counseling for the pig hunter.
The prosecutor's office yesterday also received a letter from Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization which operates animal shelters in upstate New York and northern California, that supports prosecution against the man.
According to police, Porky had between $2,000 and $5,000 worth of commercial jobs pending.
Press contributed to this report.
Reach Rod Ohira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The knifing of Porky prompted outraged calls of animal cruelty
By Leila Fujimori
Police charged a 28-year-old man yesterday with felony theft of livestock after he allegedly killed a pet pig named Porky who was featured in an Island Air commercial.
Joseph B. Calarruda V, who was on probation, allegedly knifed the pig at about 11 p.m. Oct. 22 in the carport of a couple who rent a house on a 130-acre lychee farm just above a Mililani Mauka subdivision.
"He's one of our pets, just like anybody's dog," said Aaron O'Brien, Porky's owner and resident manager of the farm. Porky was born on the farm to a feral sow that O'Brien had trapped, and enjoyed having his belly rubbed and performing tricks.
"People can't get away with killing people's pets," said O'Brien, who was on the mainland when it happened.
Because of Hawaii's new law on theft of livestock, and because Porky's only TV spot gave him a value of $2,000 to $5,000, Calarruda was charged with felony theft. Otherwise he would have gotten off easy on a misdemeanor charge, O'Brien said.
"(Porky) had a future; that's how his value is figured out," he said. "To me he's worth more than that."
O'Brien and his girlfriend, Camilla Skold, said they would like to see tougher laws in Hawaii to make animal cruelty a felony. They have received an outpouring of support, from the Humane Society of the United States to Greenpeace and animal-lovers.
Calarruda remained in custody last night in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Police arrested Calarruda on Wednesday. He has been on probation since 2002 for a kidnapping conviction, and is scheduled for trial Nov. 27 for possession of a prohibited firearm.
On Oct. 22, Calarruda's hunting dogs allegedly cornered the 300-pound pig in the carport, according to a couple who are tenants on the farm. They asked not to be identified out of fear for their safety.
The husband said he kept yelling, "This is private property. This is a pet pig. Get your dogs and get out of here."
But Calarruda allegedly went into the carport and stabbed the pig to death, leaving blood everywhere, said the couple. He then hauled the pig to the edge of the carport and cut one of its legs off, they said.
That was when they noticed another man standing to the side of their house with more dogs on leashes.
"My husband screamed, 'Porky's dead!'" said the woman, who was fond of Porky. "I started screaming. I was just so sad. I was in shock."
She called 911, and the two men fled with their dogs into the forest.
The woman said responding police asked, "That's a pet? Was anyone hurt?" and told her there was nothing they could do. "We thought it was absolutely hopeless," she said.
However, her husband led officers to where the men's truck was parked, which eventually led to Calarruda's arrest.
The wife, who had befriended Porky with apples, said she was devastated, and mourned the 5-year-old hog's death for four days, unable to go to work. "Porky's everywhere," she said, pointing out hoof prints in the carport and the ginger patch where he slept near their house.
November 17, 2006
KILAUEA, KAUAI (KHNL) - The killing of a beloved pet pig named "Porky"
here on O'ahu prompted national organizations to call for stricter
animal cruelty laws in Hawai'i.