Humane Society Looks Ahead

The Molokai Humane Society (MoHS) celebrated its 30 year anniversary this past June. Over the course of the past 30 years the Molokai Humane Society has overcome many challenges, and still continues to do so. We have transitioned from an off island veterinarian working out of someone’s home, to a humble clinic made out of a 40 foot shipping container at our current location with a budget to support a full time veterinarian. Over the past 30 years the organization has made many positive changes such as advocating for companion animals at Home Pumehana, successfully organizing and maintaining a low cost spay and neuter program, educating the community on the benefits of proper animal care and helping thousands of animals in need.

For the past several years the organization has been working hard to secure a parcel of land and staff that would be appropriate to meet the needs of the island’s animals. The current MoHS administration has not lost sight of how far we have come over the past 30 years, or all of the changes and tough times we have struggled through. We continue to maintain the focus that was created for the organization several decades ago.

As the new Executive Director, I commend the people who have worked so hard to get to where the organization is today. I thank them for their commitment and dedication to the animals of this island. I know that as we transition into the next phase of the Molokai Humane Society there will be more challenges that we face. I know that if we all stay focused on what is important we will meet those challenges and overcome them. There are a lot of really exciting things in the future for the Molokai Humane Society and the animals on this island.

The Molokai Humane Society continues to be open Monday-Thursday 8:00am-1:00pm. The next visiting veterinarian will be here August 9 – August 19. Call today to make an appointment and check out our website for additional information, www.molokaihumanesociety.org.

Jenn Whitted

MoHS Executive Director

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3 Responses to “Humane Society Looks Ahead”

  1. zacherk says:

    Jenn Whitted stated “if we all stay focused on what is important we will meet those challenges and overcome them” (Dispatch 8/3). The present MoHS board and ED are rapidly moving forward, and I commend them on the funding they’ve acquired; however, they’ve lost sight of something fundamentally important, people. I have written and spoken with the board (Jenn Whitted was then president) many times about the importance of involving those in the trenches in planning for the future of MoHS. The long range goal may be for a shelter, but what we have right now is the clinic. It is important to understand what goes on in the clinic. To get that information, go to the sources: Tessa Reich, the vet tech; Dr. Hollis, the visiting vet who has been on island the most since December, and expressed an interest in coming here full time (see April 18th MoHS meeting minutes); Dr. Eileen, who has the longest history with Molokai (six years); Dr. Sterling who established the clinic; Dr. Shanna; and Dr.Leianne. Previous board members, animal owners, and volunteers are other important sources. What a wealth of knowledge to contribute to the future of MoHS if the board would just tap into it. I naively thought the important priority of any board is to listen, ask questions, create an atmosphere of open dialogue and spend the beginning of their tenure learning the best way to represent the stakeholders of their organization. It appears the present MoHS board has a different concept of “what is important” than I. I have honestly tried to understand; I’ve attended all public meetings, sent emails, talked with board members, but I am at a loss. What we had until last week was a well-functioning clinic. What we had until last week was Tessa Reich. Dr. Sterling wrote to the board on April 26, 2011, “From my point of view the most valuable addition by far was the addition of Tessa as regular staff. Tessa lightened the load for everyone (volunteers and veterinarians) and increased efficiency and quality of service a hundred fold.” To quote Whitted again, “as we transition into the next phase of the MoHS there will be more challenges that we face.” A huge challenge right now is establishing respectful communication and dialogue to continue the good work for Molokai’s animals. Isn’t that what is important?
    Mahalo, Keri Zacher

  2. IlioAloha says:

    I am a pet owner on Molokai. I am very upset that vets would really quit coming to the clinic over changes in staff. Its still the same clinic! If, heaven forbid, my animal were to become ill or injured and I had no way to treat him due to personality conflicts and changes in staff at the clinic I would be devastated. I am on a limited income and like many of us here I can not afford to go off island for care. Isn’t there some kind of ethical oath for all doctors, whether they be animal or human, to treat the sick patient, and not the personnel (pun) politics? Any qualified professional doctor can work with any staff. Its not about liking the person on your crew, its about getting the JOB done, which in this case is providing care for our animals. I have volunteered at MoHS. The D.V.M. being there full time is what matters, ANY vet! Anything else is helpful, of course, but truthfully replaceable. I hear and read a lot about people sticking up for other people, but who is sticking up for our animals? Who is going to get a vet here to stay on island? That’s the real problem. We are not promised tomorrow and life is just like the morning dew that so quickly fades away. Anytime we rely too much on ANY one person we become susceptible and vulnerable to a total collapse. What we need here is a TEAM of many people and a system where regardless of who is there to help out anyone could walk in and follow suit. We need not just one Tessa but several people who can do all that needs to be done, so that the Vet can DO THEIR JOB. We have plenty of young people on this island who would love to learn from Tessa and/or the Vet, and gain their expertise in assisting animals. Its not unusual to have 3 people assisting one vet. There is even the Volunteer Intern program where a person can get certified through on the job training! Hawaii State Dept. of Labor runs it. There is so much to do and so little time in the day, especially when an animal’s life is on the line. The Molokai Humane Society doesnt belong to any one individual or even to any one board of people. It belongs to our beloved animals. So, please put your politics and personal hurt feelings to the side and do the right thing by our pets. I would be so upset to see our pets suffer over personal and monetary disputes. As a community, I ask, can we get it together? Do our pets really have a dollar sign hanging over their heads? You cant put a price on our four legged family members. Set aside the egos and sort to the positive. We’ve had a visiting vet here for a week now and its run like clock work down there. There are limited resources, but people are doing the best job that they can to provide the best care that they can. No ones there to make friends with their co-workers they are there to help our animals.

    ~Thank you, just so concerned.

  3. Molokaiwahine says:

    Hi from Dr Shanna Dean, for those of you I have met. I have not been able to visit the Molokai Humane Society for many months, but am very concerned by the information that has reached me on Oahu. During my many visits to Molokai, I have always worked with Tessa except on one occasion. We managed ok without her, but not nearly as well as we do with her. Having Tessa at MoHS is the only way I would consider returning to Molokai to perform Veterinary services. It is important that a united voice be heard to return responsibility and significant authority to Tessa. She represents the people and animals of Molokai with a beautiful voice, please let her be heard.


    Shanna Dean, DVM
    Mountains & Ocean Veterinary Service, Inc.
    PO Box 372248
    Honolulu, HI, 96837

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