PUHI — Kaua‘i community members extended Thanksgiving Day invitations to some very special guests as they took part in the Kaua‘i Humane Society Home for the Holidays 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 Thanksgiving Day guests, the adoption fee will be discounted by 50%.
By Wednesday afternoon, 13 families had picked up an animal or had a pick-up time scheduled.
With the pet, families received a backpack with treats, food and toys and a list of Thanksgiving Day food that can or cannot be shared with their foster pet (white-meat turkey is okay, onions are not safe for pets).
Karyle Soto picked up her foster pet mid-day Wednesday. Soto was looking forward to spending Thanksgiving hiking with her foster dog and visiting her grandmother.
“Honestly, (fostering) is more for me,” Soto said.
Soto lost her dog earlier this year, and when she saw a flyer featuring photos of potential foster animals, she just couldn’t say no to giving a dog a home for the holiday.
Making sure animals get home with foster families safely and that they have the resources they’ll need is a coordinated effort by shelter staff. And it’s all worth it for both the staff and the animals, KHS Executive Director Nicole Crane said.
“We can create a program that is just happy, and everyone gets a sense of joy,” Crane said. “And we were pretty confident that at least a couple are going to find their forever home. It makes the whole program worthwhile.”
And Crane was right. By Wednesday afternoon, one foster family had already adopted their new pet.
Another benefit to the program is that time in a home helps shelter staff gather more information on how an animal behaves outside the shelter. This is the case for stray Millie. Because of the unknowns of her past life, shelter staff have little information to put in her file. Information about a pet’s behavior can help shelter staff make sure animals like Millie go home with families that are a good fit.
There will be more opportunities for families who want to spend the holidays with a furry friend. KHS will be supporting Home for the Holidays during Christmas and New Year’s as well.
For those who want to support the shelter financially, Tuesday is the ninth annual Giving Tuesday, a global celebration of generosity. Those interested in joining KHS’s Giving Tuesday initiative can visit https://bit.ly/givingtuesdaykhs.
December donations will light up the shelter.
Beginning in December, KHS will be covered in L.E.D. Christmas lights. These lights will be turned on as donations come in. For every $40 donated, KHS will activate a 40-foot strand of lights. To help light up the shelter donors can visit bit.ly/lightuptheshelter.
In addition to holiday lights, the KHS lobby will be adorned with a giving tree filled with ordainments made from photos 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.
Holiday season giving provides a big boost to shelter programming.
Last year, between Giving Tuesday and New Year’s Day, KHS received approximately $100,000 in donations.
“When we get these large donations at the end of the year, it helps us start the following year really strong, helps us create more programs for our animals,” Crane said.
Last year, donations funded programing for KHS to go into houseless and low-income communities to provide animals with vaccines, dewormer, leashes, collars, pet food and pet waste bags.
KHS is hopeful that this year’s giving season continues to support programming for next year.
“Donations to KHS go directly to our animals in our shelter and in our community,” Crane said. “It goes toward providing animals with comfortable housing, meeting their medical needs, providing physical exercise, and so much more.”