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Kaua‘i humane society hosts first live Paws for Celebration Gala since pandemic

LIHU‘E —Kaua‘i Humane Society Executive Director Nicole Shafer-Crane hoped their Paws For Celebration Gala fundraiser on Saturday night could raise $10,000 to purchase a dental machine for dogs and cats in their care.

By the end of the live auction portion of the evening, they had already raised more than three times that amount, with the crowd donating $36,150 toward the shelter.

It was the first live gala for the Kaua‘i Humane Society since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first fundraiser held outside at the Humane Society building off Kuhio Highway near Puhi.

“It’s the first time we’ve been able to show off KHS in a totally different light,” said Shafer-Crane, who took the KHS executive director mantle in 2020.

The crowd of more than 200 gathered on the lawn under lantern light, where they were treated to live music by the Napali Coasters and a hula and fire knife show by the Maika‘i Ohana, emceed by Rhoda Libre.

“I just like the feel of the thing,” said Dan Giovanni, chair of the KHS board of directors.

The good vibes were shared by the attendees, who were generous with their support for the shelter.

The live auction saw a painting of Dreamboat, a former KHS dog painted to look like William Shakespeare, going for $400. A Southside vacation package ignited a bidding war and was ultimately auctioned off for $5,500.

In addition to the live auction portion, a silent auction raised thousands more for the shelter.

Mayor Derek Kawakami spoke to the crowd on Saturday night, thanking them for their generosity.

“The more you drink, the more they’re gonna get,” joked Kawakami.

Part of the funding will go toward buying the Midmark 1000 Dental Delivery System, which will assist with cleaning, teeth extraction and dental care for old and sick animals.

“We’re seeing an increase in senior animals, animals that just have poor dental health,” said Shafer-Crane. “It’s hard with our tools to extract teeth and clean them. They can get infections. It’s the same as us — we need to go to the dentist regularly, and so do animals.”

In addition, KHS raised funds for pressure washers, sanitizing foamers, cat towers, dog beds, cat toys and field trip backpacks.

The funds will also go toward ongoing programs, including the field trip for shelter dogs, in which people can take out a pet for the day for a fee. The program picked up this year with Director of Client Relations Erin Olsen saying 12 to 15 dogs were being taken on field trips every day this summer.

“A lot of people fall in love and adopt,” said Olsen. “It’s great for the dog and a lot of fun for the people.”

KHS has also recently launched a low-cost community care center for pets, and has implemented the Mission Mainland program, which offers a large discount for off-island adoptions.

There are currently 224 animals in the KHS shelter — 151 cats and 73 dogs.

“We are an organization whose focus is on the human-animal bond. The humans in this equation are the staff, the volunteers, the fosters, the adopters, the Kaua‘i pet owners, the KHS board members and our supporters,” said Shafer-Crane in her gala speech.

“Without the human bond, KHS would not be able to call itself a no-kill shelter. Without the human bond, KHS would not be able to provide care, medicine and love to the almost 3,000 animals that come through our doors every year.”

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Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or gscrimgeour@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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