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North Shore pet-food giveaways begin today

HANALEI — The Kaua‘i Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with the Kaua‘i Humane Society to help deliver donations of pet food to the North Shore Friday afternoon.

Following the landslide and road closure at Hanalei hill Thursday morning, supplies have been delivered via the temporary local boat system that goes from Princeville across the Hanalei River to the Hanalei Canoe Club.

According to KHS director and KSPCA secretary/treasurer Mindy Smith, 50 bags of dog food, 25 bags of cat food and 20 bags of chicken feed were delivered to Hanalei on Friday. “I am proud of how our community comes together to do this. It is truly remarkable,” said Smith.

“We have volunteers who have been breaking down bags of pet food at St. William Church in Hanalei, which is very helpful,” Smith said. Volunteers are always needed. Foster homes for pets on the North Shore are in demand, too, she added. It is especially important for pets with medical needs to find homes.

KSPCA animal-foster representative Ashley Jacobs explains, “Our goal is to provide a safety net for Kaua‘i’s homeless pets that cannot be helped by animal rescues or existing organizations.

“So our goal is to help the animals that need a little extra TLC and get them into forever homes and getting them adopted on-island or off-island or going to one of our wonderful transfer partners who are able to find them homes on the mainland,” said Jacobs.

The major focus of the program is to find comfortable and caring homes for cats and dogs prior to adoption, and especially for pets with complex medical needs. KSPCA’s goal this year is to increase the amount of foster homes made available to needy animals to at least 20 to 30 homes.

Jacobs also emphasized how important it is to help and get involved in the animal-foster program, especially as the need for finding homes for pets has been made more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fact that there are less flights to and from the islands as a result of the pandemic, efforts to provide permanent homes for pets has become more difficult.

Last year was the biggest year to date in terms of the amount of animals taken in by foster families. KSPCA also donated 1,000 pounds of pet food to residents on the North Shore last year. To date, KSPCA has donated up to 4,000 pounds of pet food to Kaua‘i residents.

Both cats and dogs can be fostered through the program, so that they can be cared for in a safe, comfortable home until a permanent home becomes available for them. Foster families are allowed to have first say in keeping a foster pet, and is known as “right of first refusal,” so that if they want to keep a pet they have been caring for they can.

Lauren Havlick fosters pets at her home in Kalihiwai. “My husband and I have fostered a couple of dogs that were emergency medical fosters. Then I started fostering kittens, which I have a great affection for. I find it super-gratifying. I can take a kitten that has been feral, and I can help to tame it and get it adopted and find a home for it.”

Pet food from KSPCA is available free of charge today from noon to 2 p.m. at St. William Church on Kuhio Highway in Hanalei.

The following schedule for pet-food pickup is tentative and may change, organizers said:

w Wednesday afternoon at Church of the Pacific in Princeville;

w Thursday afternoon at Hanalei Colony Resort in Ha‘ena;

w Friday morning at St. William Church.

To volunteer or to ask for help getting food for your pet, or for help with other pet-related needs, call Smith, 652-3223.

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Monique Rowan is a lifelong North Shore resident who lives in Wainiha and writes periodically for The Garden Island.
Source: The Garden Island

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