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2 Hawaii men plead guilty to animal cruelty in eating of family's pet dog
Two men who allegedly killed and ate a family's pet dog pleaded guilty this afternoon to first-degree animal cruelty.
Saturnino Palting, 48, and Nelson Domingo, 49, each entered what is called a deferred acceptance of guilty plea to the charge. If Circuit Judge Randal Lee accepts the pleas at a sentencing hearing in July, the two will be able to keep their criminal records clear if they stay out of further trouble with the law.
In return for the plea, the prosecutor's office dismissed a second charge of theft.
Palting and Domingo allegedly stole an 8-month-old puppy named Caddy from Moanalua Golf Course in December 2007 and took it to a home where they butchered and ate it.
The dog had been left on a leash near an equipment shack by its owner, who discovered the animal missing when he returned to retrieve it.
Palting and Domingo, who worked as groundskeepers at the course, were charged under a new felony animal abuse law, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
"We will be asking for an open term of five years (in prison)," Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Yoo said after Palting entered his plea.
"This case is not about anybody's culture, its not about anyone's eating habits," she said.
"It's about cruelty to animals."