Three Hoorays for our Four-Legged Friends

Molokai Humane Society finally gets a physical office.

By Léo Azambuja

It‘s about time! Molokai Humane Society (MHS) finally has a semi-permanent office. The modular building will provide much needed space allowing neuter and spaying programs to take place on-island.

MHS president Julie Lopez said up until now those procedures had to be done either on Maui or out of a member’s home on Molokai. However, the society does not sanction home procedures because of liability issues.

The new office is located on homestead lands in Ho`olehua, at 460 Maunaloa highway, about a quarter mile before the airport. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) kindly donated one acre of land to MHS on a monthly-basis lease.

Lopez said the MHS purchased a modular building because it could be easily relocated when a permanent site is allocated. “The next step is a find to site where a doctor can be there permanently,” Lopez said.

Lopez said she wants the county to realize that MHS is serious about providing a service to the community. “We went out and got our own lease with the DHHL,” she said. “Then we bought our own modular office.”

“Danny Mateo has been of great help,” Lopez said. “Especially with the grant money for spay and neuter program.” She said councilman Mateo has been very supportive of MHS.

But Lopez said the MHS still needs a permanent site and facility. “It’s time for the county to step up to the plate,” she said.

MHS has been through many hardships. The society doesn’t even have a kennel – animals are kept in a cage behind Molokai Public Library.

Since the island’s only permanent veterinarian passed away a few years ago, spaying and neutering procedures can only be performed when visiting veterinarians come to the island.

But the future looks a bit brighter for the society. A retired veterinarian from Oregon is coming on October to visit the island. Another veterinarian, from California, will be visiting the island on November. Both have family in Hawaii; one on Molokai, and the other on the Big Island.

Lopez is hopeful at least one of these veterinarians will be considering a permanent move to Molokai. “We sent them info from the Dispatch, the Chamber of Commerce, and a link to the Web site for a Hawaii vet licensing,” she said.

The MHS will hold its annual meeting on November 29 at Mitchell Pauole Center, at 4:30 p.m. Lopez said six board-members will be stepping down allowing up to nine seats for new directors. Non-members are invited to the meeting, but only members can run for the open seats. There are currently about 100 members in the MHS.

Maui Humane Society’s CEO, Jocelyn Bouchard, will be coming to Molokai as a guest speaker. This is the first time a CEO from Maui Humane Society comes to a meeting on Molokai.

Also of interest is the painting of the new office that will take place on Saturday, September 22. Molokai High School art department youth, under art teacher Perry Buchalter, will paint the modular office.

Lopez said the MHS would like to thank Ray Foster, from Monsanto Molokai, for clearing the vegetation around the new office free of charge.

For more information please call the MHS at 558-0000.


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