Dog kills nene, triggers altercation

  • contributed photo

    Two Kauai Police Department officers talk with a man who allegedly attacked a Princeville woman after her dog killed a nene chick.

PRINCEVILLE — Paulina Ann Ka’aumoana was walking her 19-year-old dog on Monday morning just after 11 when the heeler-mix killed a baby nene and triggered an alleged assault.

Police responded to the scene after the endangered bird was killed and a man allegedly attacked Ka’aumoana and her dog.

Dispatch also called the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, according to DLNR spokesman AJ McWhorter.

“An officer removed the carcass and they are processing the case,” McWhorter said Monday afternoon.

Kim Tamaoka, spokeswoman for KPD, confirmed a 37-year-old Hanamaulu man was working nearby and saw what happened.

“The man began to kick the dog in his attempt to stop the attack, and during his attempt he allegedly assaulted the woman. The woman reported the incident to police and the man, Alex Wraight, was subsequently arrested for suspicion of assault in the third degree,” Tamaoka said.

Ka’aumoana said the whole event was “uncharacteristic” of her dog in an interview with The Garden Island about an hour after the incident.

“He has an injury on his front leg and he’s mostly blind and deaf. Normally, he doesn’t chase them,” she said.

The 30-year Kauai resident has lived in Princeville for eight years and says the dog is so mellow she’s kept him off the leash for 10 years, knowing that it could draw fines if they’re caught violating the leash laws.

But, she says the elderly dog doesn’t walk fast enough to get away from her and is known throughout the neighborhood as friendly, mellow and sedentary.

“The police officer asked me why I didn’t have him on the leash and it’s because he never chases anything,” Ka’aumoana said. “It’s the weirdest thing.”

Monday morning, Ka’aumoana considered not even walking the dog, but decided to take him along on her morning walk with two friends.

She said about a block into the journey, the dog started wandering toward some standing water near the Princeville Golf Course and Ka’aumoana was concerned he was going to injure himself.

“I almost reached him, but then he went up toward the path and started going away from me,” Ka’aumoana said. “There weren’t any nenes near him at that time.”

The dog reached the path and a runner went by. Because the dog’s vision isn’t clear, he started following the runner, apparently thinking it was Ka’aumoana and her friends.

That took the dog close to some nene that were nesting in the trees near the path in Princeville and those nene caught the dog’s attention. He lunged.

“By the time I got there, he had this brand new baby nene in his mouth and the baby had already died,” she said.

As she was pulling her dog away from the nene, Ka’aumoana says a man who witnessed the event ran across the street and started kicking the dog. She intervened and says she was kicked and punched trying to get her dog away from the man.

Amanda Olson, Princeville resident, saw the incident from her home.

“He kicked her and beat her up,” Olson said minutes after police arrived on scene. “The dog killed the baby nene and then the guy came running over from the construction site across the street.”

Harming or killing an endangered bird is punishable under federal law by up to $50,000 in fines and a year in jail, and Ka’aumoana said she understands she’ll be facing some repercussions for letting her dog run free.

She also says she knows it’s almost time to put the dog down and sees the incident as a tragic push in that direction.

“I was wanting a sign to put my dog down and I’m sorry this is it,” Ka’aumoana said. “He’s been acting funny and I haven’t been bringing him out, like to the beach. He sleeps like 18 hours a day.”


Jessica Else, reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at

  1. harry oyama January 15, 2019 1:14 am Reply

    Sounds like the owner is in delusional denial, making up all sorts of excuses to get her wild dog off so she does not get fined or thrown in jail for killing that nene bird.

    That guy was right in kicking that dog and maybe right in kicking her too since she made no attempt to stop the dog from attacking that rare bird. She brought on the entire mishap by not obeying the leach law and is solely responsible for what came out of it.

    1. Bc January 17, 2019 12:38 pm Reply

      The guy in the article is my brother and I can guarantee he did not hit her. He was raised better than that. Besides, he would have restrained her long before hitting her.

  2. Master tito January 15, 2019 5:03 am Reply

    It’s a goose. WHO cares!!!
    Theres millions of them

    1. Gary January 16, 2019 12:12 am Reply

      👌🏼Wrong this specific goose is endangered.

  3. merri murphy January 15, 2019 5:17 am Reply

    Fine this “dog owner” to the maximum permitted by law. Simple.

  4. Bluedream January 15, 2019 7:47 am Reply

    The ignorant and self absorbed lady needs to be fined to the max and never be allowed to own a dog. “My dog never does that” is always the excuse when these morons let their neglected monsters free to kill anything smaller than themselves. She shouldn’t have a choice in whether the violent dog gets put down..Anyone who lets their large dog off of a leash should be charged for the dog’s murderous actions.. Who cares if the rude lady lies about some guy assualting her? That story doesn’t even make sense. She’s trying to divert her way out of basically killing another animal.

  5. LMat January 15, 2019 10:49 am Reply

    Trying to create sympathy for the dog doesn’t help to deflect where the true blame lies: with the owner. Sorry, but you’re a bad dog owner and you fudge it up for all of us good dog owners. When I’m out walking my dog on a leash (not in Princeville, thank God) I sure as hell don’t want your off-leash dog wandering up to me instigating a tussle. SO. ANNOYING. Has happened so many times to me, especially on the beach. I don’t care how well you think you know your dog, you can never be certain what he will do in every situation. He has instincts that can overpower his domestication. LEASH YOUR DOG WHEN YOU’RE IN PUBLIC. I hope you feel great about having your dog pay the ultimate price for your negligence. And I do hope you get slapped with a nice hefty fine.

  6. Jana January 15, 2019 3:28 pm Reply

    regardless the dog should have been on a leash. The woman needs to be fined.

  7. manongindashadow January 15, 2019 4:00 pm Reply

    Obviously she was kicked accidently by the young man. When she intervened.
    She deserves everything that is punishable by law and then, jail time.

  8. Brenton January 15, 2019 4:55 pm Reply

    Give this guy a medal, he’s oot there risking his neck, trying to save an endangered species. Use your leash and you won’t have these problems.

  9. IKUDIAS January 15, 2019 8:22 pm Reply

    Hawaiian lady in p-ville with a dog, and one haole from Hanamalu kicking her dog? Story doesn’t sound wraight

  10. Heather January 18, 2019 6:24 pm Reply

    I’m sorry but a man kicking a dog and beating up a woman is way worse than a 19 year old dog killing a baby bird.

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