Sterilization effort to focus on community cats

  • Photo courtesy Animal Balance

    Animal Balance will be hosting a spay/neuter clinic in both Kapaa and Kilauea for community cats and some owned cats in September.

KAPAA — Community cats are next in line for sterilization as September draws closer and with it the next step in the Animal Balance FIX Kauai project.

The organization has been to Kauai twice, once in 2017 when it sterilized more than 600 animals — owned and feral — and then in March when it sterilized more than 500 dogs and cats.

The third high-volume spay and neuter campaign is set for Sept. 3 to 14, and this time instead of focusing on owned animals, Animal Balance veterinarians are putting community cats at the front of the line.

“We will be focusing on community-cat colonies, but will also be taking appointments for some owned cats each day,” said Elsa Kohlbus, program director at Animal Balance.

Clinics will be set up in Kapaa at the All Saints Episcopal Church from Sept. 3 to 7, and then the team will move to Kilauea, where the clinic will be staged at a private residence.

And while community cats can get the surgery for free, Animal Balance is asking a $25 donation for owned-cat surgeries.

“They will have a limited number of appointments held for owned/pet cats, so if people are wanting to take their cat in to one of the locations they should make an appointment early,” said Diann Hartman, a member of the Kauai Humane Society board of directors.

She pointed out Animal Balance veterinarians won’t be doing dog surgeries while they’re on Kauai on this third spay and neuter campaign.

Animal Balance’s goal is to create population control programs for cats and dogs that are community based, and veterinarians with the organization have been to Cuba, Aruba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Barbuda, Cabo Verde, Trinidad, the Galapagos Islands and on islands in Hawaii, performing surgeries.

They partner with organizations in each location to stage sterilization clinics and bring veterinarians from around the world to do surgeries, as well as support staff. Animal Balance has been working with partners on Kauai to establish sustainable and humane population-management solutions for the community cat population.

The project on Kauai is being held in partnership with Kauai Community Cat Project and Kauai SPCA, with support from the Petco Foundation.

Previously, Animal Balance partnered with Kauai Humane Society and Alley Cat Allies.

Animal Balance is asking for volunteers to help with campaign logistics, registration and recovery, and providing lunches for the team.

Animal Balance also welcomes information from community cat caregivers or anyone who might need assistance trapping and sterilizing large colonies of cats in Lihue, Kapaa or the Hanalei area.

Interested volunteers, those who would like to set up an appointment for owned-cat sterilization, or those looking for more information, can email

••• Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. Uncleaina August 10, 2018 6:28 am Reply

    Oh these clowns again. Eh, now that feral cats are officially declared an invasive species by the state how can you keep up your shady practice returning them to the wild? The way you do surgery on these animals then force them to return to the wild where you abandon them again is barbaric! I’ve completely stopped donating to KHS and won’t even shop at your thrift store until they stop this abhorrent practice. They obviously could care less about our endangered bird species found here and no where else.

  2. George Ho August 10, 2018 7:01 am Reply

    Don’t do a play on words. Stay consistent and refer to feral cats as feral cats; don’t dip into a “feel good” community cats territory. Anyway, here we go again with another futile catch and release bogus program. Neigh Sayers can vomit their holier than thou senseless banter but I will not be reading follow-up comments as your opinion matters not, to me. The facts are the facts. Just like
    Hitlery is not your president.

  3. George Matt August 10, 2018 1:03 pm Reply

    Animal Balance ! What about common sense Balance ?
    May be they will do better, if concentrate their efforts to sterilize feral pigs ( catch them if you can ) – worst feral creature polluting and harming Nature , water sources, farm land and homeowner’s yards and gardens.
    No word, what will happen when they got rid of cats. Do they forgot about rodents, or they do not know rodents transmit many diseases and eat small birds and their eggs.

  4. Kathy Baca August 10, 2018 10:26 pm Reply

    I know you think you are doing a good deed – but TNR is very bad.
    For everyone.
    It’s a terrible life for cats, and spreads zoonotic diseases to humans and many mammals.

    Out of so many cats cats on the loose in this unique state – you haven’t been able to make a dent.
    TNR had its chance … and is a failure.
    It’s a waste of taxpayers money.

    Cars, gangs, cruel people, predators, disease, parasites, poison – it’s all out there.
    It’s a miserable existence for an animal meant to be a pet.

    No innocent child should contract Toxoplasmosis – because of oocysts (that exist for years)
    from cat fecal matter laying on playgrounds or near schools.
    It is incurable.
    These colonies attract rats, mongoose, and vermin.
    Cats eat next to rats at many feeding stations.
    They are poor ratters.
    Dogs do a much better job.

    Outside well fed cats kill over 2 billion birds a year.
    Cats have cause bird extinctions in Hawaii.
    Cat Toxoplasmosis kills marine mammals, ( such as the endangered Monk Seal ) and many marine animals.
    It is now found in our shellfish – from runoff from colonies near our oceans

    TNR advocates always have the same excuse.
    “Humans are the problem”
    “Cats didn’t ask to be born”.
    Humans have to fix this mess.
    A python didn’t ask to be born – yet we have to get them under control in the Everglades.
    Dogs can’t go running on private property and neither should cats.
    Hopefully, intelligent people will wake up to this health, and ecological disaster – and get these invasive domestic animals off the streets.
    Kids are a priority – not wild cats.
    Kids are most susceptible to Toxoplasmosis.
    It is incurable.

    “Community Cats” is a sickeningly cute term coined by Alley Cat Allies.
    They are invasive predators – not an asset to any community.

    Cats are great pets, but must be contained.
    I love my cat.
    She stays safely inside.

  5. Desiree Kiilau August 28, 2018 1:26 pm Reply

    Needing an appointment for my female cat

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