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Update on Molokai Animal Shelter

Shields’ Animal Shelter Foundation News Release

The Shields’ Animal Shelter Foundation continues to make strides to bring an animal shelter to Molokai.  We would like to thank the Molokai community for the positive response at our spring community meeting. Since then we have had some setbacks, but many more successes.

Executive Director Debi Buechel spent the summer on Molokai meeting residents and attending community gatherings. Director of Development and Operations Nevyn O’Kane spent nearly six months on Molokai and the neighboring islands securing business relationships and researching operations at Maui, Lanai, Kauai and Hawaii Island’s animal shelters. Director of Humane Education and Community Outreach Victoria Velinski spoke with educators at these facilities to improve our education program. Victoria has also taken on the role of Breed Rescue Coordinator, and now has relationships with dozens of breed-specific rescues. These efforts will help the shelter be built more quickly, and help us operate more smoothly in the future.

On the real estate front, a meeting with Maui County has lifted some zoning restrictions, allowing Shields’ to seek land donations. If you have 2 or more acres of unused land, or know someone who does, please contact Nevyn at cleverprimate@gmail.com.

Our next community meeting will be held when we secure property. We will discuss building plans, resources, and hiring at that time. Shields’ will be using local labor wherever possible throughout the construction process.

Without permitting obstacles, the Shields’ Animal Shelter hopes to be open for business in less than one year. To make this happen, we urge the Molokai community to express their desire for an animal shelter to their elected officials. With their support, the opening of the shelter will take less time.

The Shields’ Animal Shelter Foundation is opening an office at 2130 Mauna Loa Highway, Unit H (near the Tobacco Shack and the future kite shop). Our team will be at the office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. whenever one of us is on Molokai. This will be our base until the shelter is built. A team member will be on Molokai Feb. 11 through March 4.

We continue to work with the Moloka’i Humane Society, and a business plan is in the works to determine how we will divide services to the people and companion animals of Molokai.

Regular updates can be found on our website, shieldsanimalshelter.com, and our Facebook page, facebook.com/TheShieldsASF. Questions regarding education, school partnerships, or community relations can be directed to Victoria at dearprudence1168@gmail.com.

The Shields’ Animal Shelter Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible financial gift, please contact Executive Director, Debi Buechel at debi@shieldsanimalfoundation.com. General questions should be directed to Nevyn O’Kane.


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