Community rallies to KHS, caring for pets

There’s a whole lot of good things going on at the Kauai Humane Society and, tonight, you have a chance to not only support this organization but have a great time as well.

KHS’s annual “Paws for Celebration” is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

The gala is the largest yearly annual fundraiser for KHS, raising about $120,000 last year. It includes dinner, music, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

If this interests you, and we hope it does, you’re in luck because tickets are available at the door. It’s not cheap, $100, but rest assured it is money well spent, going toward a terrific organization that is working hard for this community and its pets.

Since Scott Pisani arrived as director earlier this year, there’s been a renewed sense of community involvement and teamwork, a renewed sense of optimism and hope. The critics of KHS seem to have been quieted. We believe Pisani has done an outstanding job so far, and we are confident he will continue to do so.

We have said it before and we’ll say it again, the KHS director job is one of the most difficult on the island. You’re basically making life-and-death decisions every day while trying to save as many stray animals as you can with a limited budget.

The number of euthanizations has been declining since 2013, and much of that credit must go to KHS for its commitment to finding them homes. The community, too, has increased its own responsibility when it comes to the pets on this island. KHS is no longer having so many pets just dropped off there at the Puhi shelter, and KHS officers aren’t picking up as many that were just dumped somewhere.

This week, the Mobile Animal Sterilization Clinic at KHS has been an overwhelming success. It’s through the nonprofit organization Animal Balance, which brought five veterinarians and other volunteers to sterilize at least 600 animals — at no charge to the community — in six days.

Hundreds of pet owners have responded. There is a demand for this service, but many can’t afford it. When it comes to controlling the pet population, this is the best way to go about it.

The effort to take care of this island’s dogs and cats has become more of a united approach, and it is making a difference.

But leave no doubt. KHS faces challenges. It’s far from flush with money. It employs about 50 full- and part-time workers and is struggling to keep up with demand for its help. It is beyond capacity, with about 150 cats and dogs, which doesn’t include those in foster homes.

Paws for Celebration is the main annual fundraiser for KHS. Funds go toward general operations and the pet transfer program. More than 200 tickets have been sold.

The stories of the cats and dogs that have been adopted at KHS are beautiful to hear. But there are still many more that need homes. They are kind and loving animals. Some have been there months. If you can, if it’s possible, please bring one into your life. Yes, it can be difficult to find a place to rent that accepts pets, and they cost money to have, but the benefits — smiles, laughs and love — are priceless.

Meantime, we hope you make it to tonight’s fundraiser and celebration of all the good work by KHS, its staff and volunteers. Well done.

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