Sunday, June 26, 2022 |
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When you think of the Kaua’i Humane Society, what comes to mind? Folks who care
for abandoned and unwanted animals? A place to adopt your new pet? Humane
officers who collect strays and respond to complaints?
A clinic that
offers low-cost spay-neuter services to the public? The beautiful new shelter
nearly completed outside Puhi? People who make sure that animals aren’t treated
All of the above are correct. The Kaua’i Humane Society does all
that and more. But it is important to understand the distinctions in those
Because some are done under a County contract using taxpayer
monies, and others use funds provided by generous donors and grants.
Kaua’i Humane Society has been providing animal control services for the County
since 1988. Before that, the job was done by the County’s public works
But some county officials thought this difficult and
specialized service should be performed by a professional humane
The Kaua’i Humane Society — founded as an animal welfare
organization in 1942 — was then asked to take over animal control.
County animal control contract includes the sheltering and acceptance of all
stray animals; administration of the spay/neuter program; adoption of stray and
feral animals, humane euthanasia of animals which are not adopted or returned
home; as well as responding to animal issues that relate to the welfare and
safety of small animals, the capture of dangerous or diseased animals, issuing
dog licenses, and dead animal pick-up on county roads.
The Humane Society,
which is a nonprofit organization run by a Board of Directors, oversees and
funds all the other services: Adoption of animals, pet loss; sheltering of
owned/unwanted animals; humane education; pet care for the sick, elderly and
emergency foster care patients; pet visitation to hospitals and long-term care
facilities; pets in-housing; euthanasia of old or very sick animals; Aloha
Angel escort services; cruelty and neglect investigations; pet visitation
program; pets in the classroom; low-cost spay or neuter; recycling at the
thrift store; and volunteer opportunities.
As the Humane Society’s need and
programs have increased, it has stepped up its fundraising efforts and people
and foundations have responded generously. Funding for the County contract,
meanwhile, has remained the same for the past three years, even though the
numbers of unwanted; animals has risen.
Last year, thousands of animals
came through the Kaua’i shelter – and the unwanted animal numbers continue to
The Kauai shelter is the only facility that addresses this problem
and we are now at the point where the Humane Society and its supporters are
subsidizing the county contract, and that’s just not right. These unwanted and
stray animals are a public responsibility, and the county should carry its
share of the burden.
If you think Kauai’s animals deserve a better shake,
please contact the Mayor and Council members during this crucial time of budget
You can show your support by contacting the Kauai Humane
Society and writing letters to the Council members and county Administration to
share your thoughts about the funding needed to truly make a difference now and
in the future for the island’s animals.
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