Animal Clinic Coming Soon
Without a permanent animal clinic or a resident veterinarian, Molokai’s pet owners have been challenged by too few options over the past several years. But with potential new sites designated and a permanent structure on-order, the Molokai Humane Society is optimistic about the near future.
Currently the society has determined three potential temporary sites for the animal clinic, two in Ho`olehua and one at Holumua Junction. There is also a 40 foot modular building that has been purchased and is due to arrive at the end of the month.
Julie Lopez, president of Molokai Humane Society, hopes the clinic could be functional within a few months.
Lopez also said that Humane Society board members are hoping the new clinic would attract a veterinarian who would want to create their own permanent practice on Molokai. She says that the society would be willing to offer space in the new clinic as a starting point for any vet that could make a good fit for Molokai. “The best possible scenario is that a vet would move to Molokai and set up a private practice here,” says Lopez.
But whichever of the three sites is chosen, the Humane Society will still be on the lookout for a county owned property that would be big enough to handle the future needs of Molokai’s growing community.
“We (Humane Society board members) feel like if we work hard to find a temporary site the county will respond and help us find a permanent location,” says Lopez.
But Lopez says the society isn’t interested in just waiting around. During this week’s Ka Hula Piko event, the society will be circulating a petition that asks county officials to speed up the process in finding a permanent location. “We want people to come out to Ka Hula Piko, visit our booth and sign this petition because we need to show the Mayor and Maui council that there is a real need in the community for a permanent animal facility,” says Lopez. “But I do have to thank Danny Mateo because he’s a crusader. Without him, we wouldn’t have the Spay and Neuter program that we have now.”
“The last year has been a good year because we got the visiting vet program started. So far there have been six visiting vets, all volunteer, that stay on Molokai for up to week. They’re making our Spay and Neuter program happen. In the past year there have been about 300 cats and dogs that have been “fixed.”
But in April the Molokai program lost their normal place of business at Julie Coelho’s residents. Coelho, a long time animal lover and caregiver has hosted veterinarians on Molokai for over thirty years.
Lopez said that the society knew well ahead of time that a new location would be needed and that the timing for new clinic had been the society’s main focus for many months.
Because the Molokai Humane Society is not yet permanent, the organization has partnered with the Maui Humane Society to provide free spay and neuter services for Molokai residents traveling to Maui. All that is required for the free service is an ID with a Molokai address and a coupon which can be picked up at Simon and Friends Pet Shoppe in Kaunakakai, 553-3419.
Lopez admitted that the Humane Society planning processes has not been without its kinks. “The board has been working really hard on these things and sometimes they take a lot of flack. These people are all volunteers and their main motivation is to take care of the animals – that’s the bottom line. I just want to say that I’m really proud of what has been happening and where things are going. I in the midst of not having a permanent location, we’re happy that people are responding positively overall,” said Lopez.
I want people to know that the aim of the society is to educate people about animal welfare and taking care of their animals. We’re all in this together, the animals and the people. And we’re small so we’re asking people to be patient. We know the island is growing so we’re doing our best to help things along.”
The Molokai Humane Society board would like to thank their fellow volunteers who have given their time and aloha. They also want to thank the Maui Humane Society and Danny Mateo for their support and efforts. Special thanks go to Julie Coelho for her generous humanitarian services to the animal and people of the island.
If you’d like to like support the efforts of the Molokai Humane Society send donations to P.O. Box 1258, Kaunakakai HI 96748.