Celebrate Year of the Dog

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Cammie, Judy Blue Eyes, and Joe, begging for treats at Natural Pet Hawaii, are KAWS animals available for adoption.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Judy Blue Eyes, Tania Hensley of Natural Pet Hawaii, and Joe get excited about the KAWS fundraiser, Wednesday afternoon. Judy and Joe are up for adoption through KAWS, and advance tickets for the fundraiser are available at Natural Pet Hawaii.

LIHUE — Kauai Animal Welfare Society is celebrating the Chinese Year of the Dog by giving the community a chance to help out with Kauai’s homeless animals.

It’s the second KAWS Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction, and the evening’s dinner will be catered at the Courtyard Marriott’s Hale o Ho’olaule’a tent by Sandy Jennings’ Fresh from the Garden.

Silent and live auctions will complete the event, which is set for Saturday, Feb. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m on Coconut Beach.

“KAWS is so excited to celebrate the Year of the Dog at the Courtyard Marriott,” said KAWS executive director Dinah Chao.

She continued: “We are looking forward to an evening of good food and drink, fun activities, music and friends — all to bring good fortune to the island’s homeless pets.”

Luck, loyalty and “good fortune” are some of the symbols that come along with the Chinese year of the Dog, which is one of the 12 symbols in the Chinese zodiac.

The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, and in 2018 it begins on Feb. 16. Cultural celebrations to welcome in the new year typically last more than two weeks.

KAWS was founded in 2015, and since then the organization has found homes for more than 140 cats and dogs and has provided spay/neuter, medical and food assistance to many more.

Volunteers provide resources like flea and tick medication, leashes and collars, bedding and crates, courtesy posts and reports on social media for adoptions, and moral support for people who find animals and for those who are re-homing them.

Dogs are a big part of what the organization does, according to Chao, and the organization works closely with Kauai Humane Society to help at-risk dogs find homes.

When new dogs are brought into the Humane Society, for instance, Chao said KAWS stays in touch with that dog’s status. Should the animal’s status change, KAWS is alerted and intercedes to help avoid euthanasia and find other alternatives, such as foster care, off-island transfer, or acceptance into the KAW’s lifetime resident program.

In 2017, the organization secured a home base for the rescue facility and has started the building process. Money generated from the benefit dinner will go toward further improvements and the ultimate goal of helping more of the island’s homeless animals.

“All event proceeds will benefit KAWS’ continuing efforts to help Kauai’s animals at risk and the people who care for them,” Chao said. “May the Year of the Dog bring everyone health and happiness!”

Tickets are on sale now for $55. They can be purchased online at kaws4paws.org/chinese-new-year-year-dog-fundraiser.

More info, or to donate, email cbissell22@gmail.com.

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