(BIVN) – The Hawaii Island Humane Society is stepping away from providing animal control services for Hawaiʻi island, and refocusing on community outreach programs and services.
The Hawaii Island Humane Society, or HIHS, currently holds a contract with the County of Hawaiʻi to enforce certain animal-related laws, and it also offers “24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, micro-chipping and more.”
In a Tuesday media release, the HIHS says it is declining to bid on a new contract for animal control services in the county, and “will work with the Hawaii County Police Department on transitioning services to a new entity so Hawaii County will not have a break in Animal Control service.”
Last November, animal control issues – and the Hawaiʻi Island Humane Society role in effectively responding – was front and center during a Hawaiʻi County Council discussion on dog attacks in Puna.
A few weeks after this video was published, Charles Brown – the Hawaiʻi Island Humane Society CEO featured in the recording – resigned.
Here is the full media release issued by the HIHS on Tuesday:
The Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Board of Directors has decided to not respond to the County of Hawaii’s Request for Proposals for Animal Control Services for Hawaii Island. The present County contract between the Hawaii County Police Department and Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) expires on June 30, 2020.
“The Hawaii Island Humane Society has been providing animal control services to Hawaii Island with three shelters in Keaau, Waimea and Kona for many years and the decision to not bid on the County contract did not come easily. With the opening of our new Animal Community Center in Kona and with plans underway to renovate our Keaau facility to help more animals in need, we felt it was time to turn our attention from Animal Control to increasing community outreach programs and services. We will continue to promote humane education in schools, to share our dog parks for people and pets to enjoy and we will continue to work with dedicated volunteers, fosters and donors to improve the lives of pets around the island,” said HIHS Board Chair Adam Atwood.
“Compassionate care for animals is our priority and Hawaii Island Humane Society will work with Hawaii County Police Department on a smooth transition to a new entity.”
The 55-year old non-profit agency is dedicated to continuing its mission to prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet over population and enhance the bond between humans and animals.
What’s Next for the Hawaii Island Humane Society?
The Hawaii Island Humane Society will continue to provide service island-wide as an independent animal welfare organization providing compassionate care for animals at its three shelter locations in Keaau, Waimea and the soon-to-be-opened Animal Community Center in Kona.
“Hawaii Island Humane Society is looking forward to expanding volunteer opportunities at all three shelters, providing programs to meet the needs of shelter animals, increasing community outreach and growing the organization’s successful spay and neuter program,” said Hawaii Island Humane Society CEO Dr. Beth Jose. “The Hawaii Island Humane Society performs between 4,500 and 5,500 spay and neuter surgeries annually at our Keaau and Kona locations. Expanding outreach into Hawaii Island’s rural communities with the mobile Spay & Neuter ‘Waggin will grow the numbers and help our island alleviate pet overpopulation.”
Animal Community Center Opening in July
The state-of-the-art Animal Community Center’s second phase is slated to open in mid-July. The 12-acre site in Keauhou Mauka was previously a quarry and a bonsai botanical garden. After a decade of planning and years of fundraising, the Animal Community Center’s first phase opened last year with the Central Bark Dog Parks for both small and large dogs.
The Animal Community Center’s Phase 2 July completion includes a Welcome Center, Education Amphitheatre, Administration Building, Cat Barn, Doggie Dorms, and an Adoption Square. An Education Center is under construction and will be completed later this year.
The next phase includes a state-of-the-art Veterinary Center that will allow the Hawaii Island Humane Society added capacity to grow the spay and neuter program. Construction on the Vet Center begins later this year.
“We’re moving completely out of the present site adjacent to the Police Station in Kona in July. We now have the infrastructure in place to grow our mission. We’ve doubled our capacity for dogs and tripled our capacity for cats at the new Animal Community Center. We are excited to begin work expanding and improving our Keaau and Waimea facilities. We obviously have a lot in the works but I’m excited about what the future holds for the Hawaii Island Humane Society,” said Dr. Beth Jose.