Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kennel care at center of dog fight

By Zeke Barlow 

The co-owner of a high-end Moorpark dog kennel and breeding facility was arrested Friday on suspicion of stealing a dog, cruelty to animals and filing a false police report.

The incident involving Golden Meadows Kennels co-owner Barbara Hoke comes after a month of back-and-forth accusations by the people involved, confusing tales of who owned the dog, and conflicting stories of how the dogs at the facility are treated.

Hoke, 51, said she has been wrongly accused and is a target of a disgruntled employee. But law enforcement officials say they believe she was abusing her golden retrievers and vizslas dogs — some of which cost $7,000 — with an electric cattle prod and shock collars.

All this comes after a Ventura County agency issued a citation earlier this month to the Hokes for not having the needed permit to run a kennel.

“They are operating illegally,” said Gloria Goldman, senior code compliance officer with the Ventura County Code Compliance Division. She said the owners have a notice of violation to fix the problem, which would require them to remove the dogs from the property and then get the needed permit. Hoke declined to comment about the permit.

The case began earlier this month when employees at the kennel on Clinton Street called the Humane Society and other agencies complaining about how dogs were being treated at the facility..."  More