New hope for old dogs

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai Humane Society staff member Chrystian Isbill and Flash, an elderly KHS dog, enjoy quality time together.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Flash, a Kauai Humane Society elderly dog, enjoys the lunch hour with KHS staff member Chrystian Isbill.

LIHUE — The senior dogs at the Kauai Humane Society have something to wag about this summer, as the recipients of one of The Grey Muzzle Organization’s Fetch grants.

The Kauai Humane Society is one of 62 animal-welfare groups chosen from 240 applicants to receive a grant to help local senior dogs. These funds, $7,498, will allow KHS to give senior dogs extra care and attention they need in order to be ready for adoption or transfer to the mainland.

“This grant will help us give senior dogs like 11-year-old Flash the care he needs so he’ll be ready to go to his forever home,” said Mirah Horowitz, KHS executive director. “Very few dogs are more grateful or loving than a senior dog, and we’re looking forward to helping more senior dogs get the second chance they all deserve.”

In the past 11 years, the national nonprofit Grey Muzzle Organization has provided almost $2 million in grants to support its vision of “a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like the Kauai Humane Society make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said. “Many senior dogs in Kauai are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of Kauai Humane Society.”

KHS has been the island’s only open-admission animal shelter since 1952. Taking in over 3,500 animals per year, it provides critical resources to homeless animals and island residents.

Senior dogs — eight years or older — can be harder to adopt out.

KHS gets senior dogs in weekly, if not daily, and currently has six. Like other dogs, they are equally strays and owner surrenders. One, for instance, is Flash, an 11-year-old Chihuahua.

Most people come to the shelter to adopt a young dog or puppy, an animal that will be theirs for years to come, Horowitz said.

“Taking on a senior dog with a shorter life expectancy is not always appealing,” she said. “Nor are the often-greater vet bills that come with adopting an older dog. But, in my experience, senior dogs are some of the most grateful and most loving of companions.”

Info: or 632-0610

  1. Carrie Eckert August 19, 2019 4:29 am Reply

    Senior dogs are the best! I adopted my 15 year old from KHS when he was 4. No older dog should be dumped to live in a shelter. I will always adopt a senior or even special needs old. It is so rewarding to know you helped an animal in need. They provide so much love and companionship without the puppy stage and are more settled. All dogs should be adopted from shelters. No animal should be left alone!

  2. Robin August 19, 2019 2:54 pm Reply

    I honestly think they need to raise the licensing fee, by a lot, for unneutered and unspayed dogs. This is an island and a limited area and we shouldn’t have to ship dogs to the mainland to find homes when we can control the issue here. If you raise the fees and penalties for unneutered and unspayed dogs, you can use those fees for helping subsidize the cost to neuter or spay.

    Because in the long run less dogs born mean less dogs that need to find a home.

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