Humane Society at capacity

  • Kaua‘i Humane Society / Special to The Garden Island

    A group of kittens looking for their forever homes.

LIHU‘E — On the adoption floor of the Kaua’i Humane Shelter sit 26 dogs, 44 kittens and 76 cats.

On top of that, there are 25 adoptable animals in foster care, and an additional 65 in foster care that they are too young to be adopted out, KHS executive director Mirah Horowitz reported Wednesday.

Currently, at the height of kitten season, some foster families are acting as “revolving doors,” Horowitz said, raising new litters of kittens, turning them back over to KHS and then getting a new set.

KHS announced it has reached capacity yesterday on social media, a problem that can be remedied, if only slightly, by more foster care families.

“We need the community to help us save lives,” Horowitz said. “Help us care for these animals.”

The KHS foster care program provides families with food, beds, crates, medical care and other necessities for care.

One major COVID-19 related challenge that has led to the maximum capacity is the lack of Mainland flights. KHS is partnered with 15-18 shelters along the West Coast and in Washington, D.C. that have a better chance of adopting them out.

Last June, the KHS transferred 18 dogs and 35 cats to Mainland partners. This year, they sent out one dog and zero cats. In May 2019, they sent out 27 dogs and 28 cats. And in May 2020, they were only able to get out seven dogs.

Capacity at KHS isn’t so much a number based on how many kennels there are, Horowitz said, but is based on how many and which animals can be paired together.

“We are completely committed to giving every adoptable animal a chance,” she said.

KHS ended its fiscal year on June 30. The total life release rate jumped from 89% to 96% in the last year for dogs. The overall shelter live release rate was 84%, up from 68%, KHS reported.

“This is a truly amazing accomplishment and is a testament to the hard-working staff and volunteers that are fighting to save as many animals as we can,” Horowitz said. “To continue this work, we need fosters who can help us care for animals until our mainland transfers can resume regularly!”

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

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