Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023 |
Share this story
I have supported the Kaua’i Humane Society and all their efforts to care for the strays and unwanted animals for years. There has been a lot of intrigue, politics and scandal recently regarding the administration and funding, as well as employee turnover and discontent.
However, I felt I would show my support by taking my cat there to be spayed. They offer a $50 fee for the service. This being the sixth cat that I have adopted off the street and given a safe home with professional veterinary care, I felt that the $50 fee was reasonable for the procedure.
I made an appointment and was given a dropoff time and feeding instructions, and when the day came, my feline and I took the long ride out to the Humane Society. After filling out the necessary paperwork, the receptionist handed the forms to a male co-worker and explained to him what was going on with my cat and left the office. I was then given instructions as to when to return to pick up my cat, she was taken from me and put into the “waiting area.” I returned six hours later to retrieve my baby, only to find that she had been “forgotten.” Somewhere in the exchange between the receptionist and the male co-worker, my cat was put aside and left in the same spot for the entire day. She wasn’t spayed, nor did she get food, water or a chance to eliminate.
Another employee snapped at the receptionist that she knew nothing about my cat. Hey, didn’t I fill out paperwork? Wasn’t it right there on the desk, I thought to myself while they passed the blame off on to another employee.
My poor kitty sat in her bright blue carrier in a strange place for hours, lost and forgotten by all of them. No one said they were sorry or took responsibility for the error. They made an offer to either spay the cat right then, or to have me leave her overnight and they would return her to me the following day. I don’t know about you, but at that point, I just wanted my cat back. At least she was alive. I shudder to think what other “mistakes” could be made. What if they euthanized her because of their disorganized intake system? I know when I left, I made my feelings quite clear: The Humane Society had let me down.
I put in a call to the mayor’s office as soon as I got home, and then I called the Humane Society to speak to the acting manager. I got no empathy. He actually said, “is it my fault?” Jason explained to me that this was the first time this had ever happened, like that made me feel any better. He made an offer to spay her at another time, but too late. I had already reached the point of no return. He asked if there was something he could do for me, and I replied yes, two things: Train the staff in customer relations, and a written letter of apology from his employees. He said he would do those things.
Still no apology. After a lengthy conversation with the president of the board of directors of the Humane Society, I did receive a lovely hand-written apology which I feel was thoughtful, but not her place to write the letter for them. The responsible, or should I say irresponsible, employees have yet to be accountable for their actions.
My cat went into a real vet’s clinic to be spayed. I know that she is getting the best care possible. My mom always said, “You get what you pay for.” I find by sharing this episode with others that perhaps conditions at the Humane Society will improve. It is also my hope that the staff and current management will see this and think twice before they “forget” about an animal and mishandle a bad situation by making it worse.
It is as if the soul has dropped out of the Kaua’i Humane Society. I strongly suggest a major overhaul of employees and administration in order to meet standards the public has a right to expect the organization will hold and provide.
In this case, were they inept or inhumane? I’ll leave that for your readers to decide.
M. Tracey Chester, Kapa’a
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.