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Letter for Monday, November 25, 2019

KHS policy not fairly applied

On Oct. 4, Mirah A. Horowitz, the executive director of the Kauai Humane Society, wrote a guest piece (TGI Forum) on the new $90 fee being imposed by the humane society for bringing in certain stray cats. In that piece, she claimed that the fee is charged only for “unlicensed ferals.” If the cat is “a friendly stray,” then no fee is charged.

This would mean that they must make some determination as to whether or not the cat is a “friendly stray” or an “unlicensed feral” prior to charging the fee.

I know for a fact that this is not the case, or at least is not the way they handle such issues every time.

On Sept. 19, I took a stray I trapped on my property to the humane society, and was charged this new, $90 fee. Nobody asked me to distinguish this cat as a “friendly stray” vs. an “unlicensed feral,” and even if they had, there is no way I would have been able to choose. It wasn’t my cat. The person working the front desk would not process the cat until I paid the $90 fee. She did not examine the cat prior to collecting the fee. So how was it determined that the $90 should be assessed?

The humane society is now making part of the community — the one that cares enough to try to do something about the serious stray-cat problem on this island — pay for a problem they didn’t necessarily create.

Since 2007, I must have taken over 60 and probably close to 100 strays trapped on my property to the humane society. Had I been charged a $90 fee every time, I would be out between $5,400 and $9,000!

I have complained to the County Council and the mayor’s office about this. It is a grossly inappropriate way to handle this situation. Let cat owners bear this cost, since cat owners create this problem by not getting their pets fixed and allowing them to roam freely, creating an invasive-species problem which affects the native-bird population.

Michael Mann, Lihue
Source: The Garden Island

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