For two weeks, workers at a local animal shelter struggled to come to terms with a recent break-in that freed 75 dogs from their homes, two of whom were found dead near the highway.
Staff arrived at 5 a.m. on Sunday August 14 to open the Kaua’i Humane Society and found 20 dogs loose in the back parking lot. The remaining 55 dogs that were in the shelter were either loose inside the building or hiding.
This comes at an unfortunate time for KHS, as the nonprofit organization has struggled with rising animal populations, declining adoptions, staffing shortages and fluctuating tourism due to the pandemic, resulting in the shelter being closed one day a week. And while the independent organization is trying to do justice to the situation by offering a $20,000 reward for information that led to the conviction of those responsible for the burglary, authorities said no one has been arrested.
“This investigation is still active and officers are pursuing potential leads,” KPD told Kaua’i Now.
The department is unable to release additional information, but said no arrests have been made at this time.
The criminal(s) entered the establishment by breaking a window which did not trigger the security system currently in place. Nothing was stolen from the shelter, according to employees.
In an email exchange with KHS, officials said they had never had such a burglary before and that despite all the regular precautions taken by the shelter, it was ill-prepared for this type of event. “…because we never imagined something like this would happen,” Crane said while offering the shelter’s deepest condolences to the family of the two deceased dogs who were boarded while their families were off the island. .
“There was nothing KHS staff could have done to prevent this from happening,” Crane continued.
The Kaua`i Humane Society is the only open society animal shelter on garden island. KHS is a non-profit organization and held a no-kill status since 2019. In 2021, the KHS positive discharge rate averaged 96% for all animals.
KHS plans to update its security system and install cameras at the facility. In the meantime, the association has hired a patrol during the facility’s closure to ensure the safety and security of animals and staff.
“The staff and I are very confused as to the motives behind this crime,” Crane said, noting that the organization still felt victimized. “It’s hard for compassionate people to understand how someone could have endangered so many animals out of sheer malice.”
KHS is currently asking for donations to purchase an upgraded security system.
If anyone has relevant information about this crime, please contact the non-emergency police line at 808-241-1711. For more information on the Kaua’i Humane Society, click here.