PUHI — After receiving an anonymous donation of $40,000, the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board matched the amount and utilized those funds by recently signing an agreement with Spectrum to upgrade their internet and phone lines.
“It is amazing. We are so incredibly grateful,” KHS Executive Director Nicole Schafer Cranesaid.
“It can be hard at times to ask for funding for infrastructure. This anonymous donor understood that donating to improve phone lines and the internet means we can communicate more easily with adopters helping animals find homes quicker.”
According to Schafer Crane, with the new improvements being made, KHS staff will be able to update photos and bios of animals on their website faster or have live cameras, which will help animals find fosters and new homes quicker. She said the donation is going to help thousands of animals.
Schafer Crane said KHS’s generous board matched the funds to ensure KHS could move forward immediately on this project.
“The KHS is committed to improving the services it provides to the greater Kaua‘i community,” said Dan Giovanni, president of the KHS board.
“We are particularly grateful for large donations that allow us to make investments in KHS infrastructure like its internet, phone systems and emergency-power generator. By leveraging large, targeted donations with campaigns of matching funds from other donors, it helps improve our services and secure our future.”
Besides upgrading the phone lines and internet, the funds are also going to be used to upgrade KHS’s computers.
“We are currently working on computers that are over five years in age, and with technology changing so quickly they have become outdated and hinder our communications,” Schafer Crane said. “These technological upgrades are going to help our animals and our community.”
KHS has been having issues with its phones for years, and Schafer Crane said they receive complaints about call times.
“The wait to get through to a representative can take a while because the phone lines limit calls to the front desk,” Schafer Crane said. “There have also been complaints about the difficulty to hear a representative because the lines can have a lot of static, and sometimes the call drops.”
Schafer Crane said Spectrum has already started doing some preliminary surveying of KHS’s website and provided KHS with a proposed six-month timeline.
“With new fiber internet being run from the highway, new phone lines placed throughout the building and updating our equipment, we hope to kick off 2022 with brand-new communications,” Schafer Crane said.
Besides upgrading their technology, Schafer Crane said there is more that needs to be done at KHS.
“This is just one step in our needed facility upgrades,” Schafer Crane said. “With our new/expanded programs and services we are looking to expand our facility and upgrade it. The animal population and needs of our community were different 20 years ago. We need to update our facility to meet the changes that have taken place over the years and the future of KHS.”
During the pandemic, KHS has been at a disadvantage, according to Schafer Crane, as they shift through the county and state rules.
“Over the past year we have learned a lot about communicating virtually,” Schafer Crane said. “Our phone lines and internet have hindered us from taking full advantage of virtual opportunities, such as live animal cameras, virtual adoptions, telehealth checks for fosters and more.”
Staff at KHS are optimistic and excited to bring in the upgraded phone line system.
“For many years we have struggled with phone and internet issues,” KHS Customer Service Manager Becky Oishi said. “It will be nice to have a system that will assist instead of hinder. Ultimately, we hope that this new system will improve our assistance with the public.”
Stephanie Shinno, education and business reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.