Members of the PUHI – Kaua’i community have extended Thanksgiving invitations to some very special guests while participating in the Kaua’i Humane Society’s holiday program.
The program encourages families to take home one shelter dog or up to two cats if they are housed in the same kennel and can travel together. If a family decides to adopt their guests on Thanksgiving Day, the adoption fee will be charged at 50%.
By Wednesday afternoon, 13 families had either picked an animal or scheduled an animal capture.
With the pets, families received a backpack with gifts, food, toys, and a list of Thanksgiving foods they could or couldn’t share with their pet (white turkey is OK, onions aren’t pet safe).
Karel Soto picked up her pet in the middle of a Wednesday. Soto was looking forward to spending Thanksgiving walking her foster dog and visiting her grandmother.
“Honestly,[nursery]is more to me,” Soto said.
Soto lost her dog earlier this year, and when she saw a flyer featuring photos of potential foster animals, she couldn’t refuse to give a dog a vacation home.
Making sure animals return home with foster families safely and that they have the resources they will need is a coordinated effort by shelter staff. It’s worth it for both staff and animals, said Nicole Crane, chief executive of KHS.
“We can create a program that is only happy, and everyone is happy,” Crane said. “And we were absolutely confident that at least the couple would find their forever home. It makes the whole program worthwhile.”
Crane was right. By Wednesday afternoon, one of the foster families had already adopted their new pet.
Another benefit of the program is that time at home helps shelter staff gather more information about how the animal behaves outside the shelter. Such is the case for the errant Millie. Because of the unknowns in her past life, the shelter staff have little information to put on her file. Information about the pet’s behavior can help shelter staff make sure animals like Millie come home with suitable families.
There will be more opportunities for families who want to spend the vacation with a furry friend. KHS Home will be supporting the holidays over Christmas and New Years Eve as well.
For those who wish to financially support the shelter, Tuesday is the ninth of the annual Feast of Giving, a global celebration of generosity. Those interested in joining the Giving Tuesday initiative at KHS can visit https://bit.ly/givingtuesdaykhs.
December donations will light up the shelter.
From December, KHS will be covered in LED lights for Christmas. These lights will be turned on as donations arrive. For every $40 donated, KHS will activate 40 feet of lights. To help light up the shelter donors, visit bit.ly/lightuptheshelter.
In addition to holiday lights, the KHS foyer will be decorated with a tender tree filled with painters made from pictures of adoptable animals. Anyone who donates to the shelter will be able to choose one of the ornaments to take home and hang on their own tree.
Giving in the holiday season provides a major boost to shelter programs.
Last year, between Tuesday and New Year’s Day, KHS received nearly $100,000 in donations.
“When we get these big donations at the end of the year, it helps us start the next year really strong, and it helps us create more programs for our animals,” Crane said.
Last year, donations funded a program for KHS to go to homeless and low-income communities to provide animals with vaccines, dewormers, leashes, collars, pet food and pet litter bags.
KHS hopes this year’s Giving Season will continue to support programming for next year.
“Donations to KHS go directly to our animals at our shelter and in our community,” Crane said. “It aims to provide comfortable housing for the animals, meet their medical needs, provide physical exercise, and much more.”