- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2014

Animal rights activists swarmed outside a California courtroom, to protest a Las Vegas pet shop owner who stands accused of partnering with an arsonist to burn down her building – and trying to kill all 27 puppies inside.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35, appeared Wednesday in Clark County court, with a mob of protesters as her backdrop, to face the same charges as her 27-year-old suspected cohort, Kirk Bills, 31 different criminal counts. Among the charges, The Daily Mail reported: First-degree arson, conspiracy and burglary and 27 counts of attempted cruelty to animals.

Both could get decades in prison, if found guilty. And their chances of escaping any convictions are dimmed by the fact that surveillance footage captures the entire attempted arson, The Daily Mail reported.

Caught on tape is allegedly Mr. Bills, carting red gasoline cans, followed by allegedly Ms. Lee, who opens the door to the Prince and Princess pet shop, The Daily Mail reported. The video then allegedly shows Mr. Bills dumping the gas on the floor, nearby the kennels, while Ms. Lee grabs files and empty gas canisters.

The two exit, while Mr. Bills allegedly throws some lighted newspapers into the shop, the video shows, The Daily Mail reported.

File-A Feb. 3, 2014, file photo provided by Clark County Fire Department, shows  Gloria Eun Hye Lee at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. Lee faces felony conspiracy and arson charges in the early Jan. 27, 2014, fire at the Prince & Princess Puppy Boutique in Las Vegas. A hearing for a Las Vegas pet shop owner accused of trying to burn her store with 27 puppies inside drew animal rights protestors and more charges from prosecutors who sought to have her jailed at least until her preliminary hearing on multiple felony charges. (AP Photo/Clark County Fire Department ,File)
File-A Feb. 3, 2014, file photo provided by Clark County Fire Department, ... more >

Firefighters caught the blaze in time to save all 27 puppies. But the building suffered $100,000 in damage. Ms. Lee was given a $20,000 bond, after surrendering her Korean passport to the judge. Police are still trying to locate Mr. Bills.

Protesters, meanwhile, expressed their anger directly to Ms. Lee, with one storming into the court building to confront and harass her, The Daily Mail reported.

“When you intentionally attempt to burn to death 27 puppies, what do you expect,” said Gina Greisen, the head of Nevada Voters for Animals and the friend of one of the protesters who were booted from court, in The Daily Mail.

Ms. Lee has a colorful criminal past. She has three convictions for bank theft, forgery and escape, as well as criminal charges – that were later dropped – for improper animal care.