I recently became the president & CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this game-changing team. As we move into the holiday season, we are thankful for the opportunity to transform this organization and create a brighter future for the animals and people of Hawaiʻi. We at the Hawaiian Humane Society would like to spread some holiday cheer by sharing some exciting updates on what we’ve been working on this year.
We have doubled the number of animals in our foster program when compared to the same quarter last year. In actual numbers this means an additional 405 cats (+76.9%) and 142 dogs (+12.7%) and 28 small animals (+40%) were fostered between July and October 2019. There is room to do even more and so we are hiring an additional member to our fostering team.
Animal Care and Veterinary Services
Taking care of our animals properly begins with having the right number of people, so we are hiring four additional animal care positions, and nine new veterinary staff roles (assistants, technicians and a manager). We are also hiring a behavior manager and plan to create a behavior team in the future to better assess behaviors, allow more resources to work with animals who many need it and help prepare them for adoption. We are making sure that we follow best practices for animal sheltering in everything we do. Lots more to come on this.
Saving More Lives
We have lowered the number of animals euthanized by 23% from this same quarter last year. For cats, this means a drop of 28.6%, for dogs, 27.6 %. This is a result of increasing fostering for challenging health cases, more focus on improving behavior where possible, and greater investment in medical procedures leading to a greater percentage of our animals being adopted. More animals with ringworm, mange and other conditions are being treated than ever before. We are devoting considerable thought, effort, and resources to saving more lives. As we continue to make changes and adopt better practices, we know that we will continue to see improvements.
We adopted out 14% more pets than the same quarter last year. This is the result of better promotion of adoption and better partnering, such as with Petco and Hawai’i Cat Café. We are trying everything we can to increase adoptions and are even piloting a program to transfer dogs and cats to the shelters on the continental US for adoption. Our first transfer of a dog last week was a big success.
Historically the Hawaiian Humane Society hasn’t always been the best partner to other animal welfare organizations in Hawaiʻi. We are committed to changing that and have begun to work with, learn from, and share resources with other key organizations on Oʻahu. We are working with PAWS of Hawaii, an on-island resource for dogs who may thrive in a foster-type organization. This includes those who are fearful/shy and those with contagious skin conditions, like ringworm. To date, we have transferred nearly 30 dogs successfully to their organization. We still have a long way to go to improve on this, but are proud of the direction we are going in and thrilled with the first successes.
We want to do more and collaborate more so we can care for more animals. This means that we will need to use more resources than ever before. Because of this, the Hawaiian Humane Society will be operating at a deficit this year. From hiring more staffing to looking at our current facilities to see how we can better house animals in our care, we want to ensure that the environment is as calm and comfortable as our space allows. We are committed to doing what it takes to achieve the best outcomes for all of the animals that enter through our doors, and those who need help on O’ahu.
These changes are just the beginning. We have a dedicated team of volunteers, staff, and board members who care deeply about our animals and want to be part of the change. And as I get to know our staff, our volunteers, our board and our partners in the community, I’m inspired by how much impact we will make together. Our animals deserve the very best and we will be there for them.
Thank you for being part of our important mission.
President & CEO
Hawaiian Humane Society