Five dogs at the Kauai Humane Society received wonderful gifts for Christmas: homes.
Through a program new to KHS, “Home for the Holidays,” 13 dogs went to homes on Saturday and spent the weekend with a family. The idea was to get them out of their kennel, be around people, and become more socialized and in the end, easier to adopt.
Come Tuesday, five of those dogs got to stay with their new families.
“It was a big success story for us,” said Scott Pisani, KHS executive director.
Pisani recently took over the helm at KHS, replacing Penny Cistaro, who retired after three and a half years here.
With creative thinking like Home for the Holidays, Pisani is off to a good start and is the right man to lead KHS. While we wish all 13 dogs had been adopted in forever homes, the fact that five found families is good. That’s five fewer dogs living at the shelter and waiting for someone to take them home.
Now, not everyone agreed having dogs go home with families for three days is a great idea. It’s probably a bit confusing to the dogs to spend three days in a new home, and then find themselves back at the shelter. That was one of our concerns, too, when we heard about this program that expands on the field trip concept that sends dogs out with people for a day.
But the alternative is the dogs spending more time in their kennels. They don’t get to be in a home and be with people. Some never have been in a home, but have always lived outside. And try as the KHS staff does, the dogs can only get out for short times each day.
A program that gives the dogs a better chance to be adopted, as this one did, should be supported and be credited with giving canines a bright Christmas and a brighter future.
Pisani said he and his staff were aware of the concerns that dogs being returned to the shelter after three days out could be hard on them. There was discussion. But they also believed this was an excellent opportunity to place dogs with loving families.
“We really felt like, ‘Let’s monitor it and see,’ ” he said.
In the end, it worked as well as they hoped. No one called and said the dog they took home for Christmas was causing trouble. Everyone had positive things to say about their canines and some fell in love with their dogs and wanted to keep them around. Some were not in a situation where they could permanently adopt a pet, but having one around on Christmas made it an even better day.
We applaud KHS for going all out to place dogs in homes. That is the society’s ultimate goal.
But the work of KHS is far from finished. There are still dogs, wonderful, playful, kind, shy, scared and sweet dogs, waiting to be adopted. If you can, please visit KHS and check on these dogs. You might just find something better than a Christmas present. You might discover your new best friend.