Kauai Humane Society wants to set a record this weekend. They’re hoping to find homes for more than 100 pets in Lihue, a city on Kauai, one of Hawaii’s smallest and oldest islands.
The organization is holding its first-ever pet adoption event, dubbed Adoptober Fest, thanks to a $2,500 grant from PetSmart Charities®. This event also happens to be PetSmart Charities’ first community adoption event in Hawaii.
Tourism: a double edged sword
We’re both excited about the event because it will help address some of Kauai Humane Society’s unique challenges.
The group takes in 7,000 animals a year, 60% of which are cats. They operate on a small island with only 64,000 permanent residents and an economy largely dependent on tourism.
“Lihue is a very expensive place to live. And with the rising price of responsible pet care that can be a challenge for folks with animals,” said Shannon Blizzard, executive director of Kauai Humane. “Times are tough for non-profits everywhere. The more expensive and isolated a community is, the more you struggle with limited resources.”
Though the organization sees challenges resulting from Hawaii’s tourism economy, there are some bright spots. Many tourists visiting the island volunteer at Kauai Humane Society. Some of them even adopt pets that they sent back home on the mainland.
Beautiful weather brings more homeless pets
In addition to the economy, Kauai Humane grapples with challenges resulting from Hawaii’s climate. “Our unique and beautiful climate results in a large free-roaming cat population. These cats have access to fresh water and temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees all year round,” said Shannon.
Ideas from the mainland
Before joining Kauai Humane just a year ago, Shannon worked nearly 3,000 miles away as director of operations for the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA. There, she collaborated with PetSmart Charities on large-scale adoption events. She’s excited to bring some of those lessons to Lihue.
“We have done things in the past as an agency celebrating the love of pets,” said Shannon. “But adoption events emphasize the power of adoption to help homeless pets, save lives and increase the human-animal bond. They also remind our visitors and natives that Kauai Humane Society is a resource in our community—and across the country, due to our growing relationship with PetSmart Charities.”
Stay tuned to see the results of Kauai Humane’s first event.