Experience serves KHS

Penny Cistaro, executive director of Kauai’s only animal welfare nonprofit organization, is well-qualified to lead the Kauai Humane Society. 

She has over 40 years of animal welfare experience working in a number of animal shelters across the country. Penny most recently worked with the Sacramento SPCA and Sacramento Animal Care Services.  Prior to that, she was the executive director for the Whatcom Humane Society in Bellingham, Wash. Penny started her career at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago; also, she has worked for the Peninsula Humane Society, the Massachusetts SPCA, and the Marin Humane Society. 

Her vast experience includes animal care, adoptions, animal control and investigations, staff and volunteer training, program development and implementation, as well as creating and overseeing budgets. Penny is a nationally known speaker and has conducted workshops on stress management and adoption programs. She was a consultant to the HSUS with their shelter evaluation program, hired to help shelters all over the U.S. develop better policies and procedures. She has worked with animal shelters to better meet the physical and emotional needs of the animals in their care.

Kauai Humane Society was founded over 60 years ago with the mission: “to protect Kauai’s animals and to promote the human-animal bond.” Their valuable programs and services save animals’ lives; help control animal overpopulation on Kauai; return lost animals to their homes; find new homes for unwanted animals; and keep pets in their current homes. Approximately 5,000 animals annually are served at their Puhi facility; 40 full and part-time employees work in one of three departments: shelter operations (includes: humane officers, animal care, veterinary clinic, customer service representatives) community outreach (includes humane education, volunteer coordinator, resale store) and administration (includes executive director, business and accounting department, development department).

KHS programs and services are: adoption and mobile adoption services, spay/neuter program, vaccine clinics, foster program, quarantine and direct release, animal rescue and cruelty investigations, licenses and microchip services, lost and found services, pet cremation services, emergency pet sheltering, boarding and dog park use for KHS members, pet food bank, shelter dog field trip program, shelter pet transfer program, pet behavior help hotline, critter camps for kids, PALS (Pets Are Loving Support) program, paws to read, and save our shearwaters (SOS) program.

“I appreciate the incredible opportunity to take my years of experience and use them to help KHS move forward to benefit Kauai’s animals” Penny said. “Mahalo nui loa.”


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