For two weeks, employees at a local animal shelter have struggled to come to terms with a recent break-in that set 75 dogs free from their housing, two of which were found deceased near the highway.
Staff arrived at 5 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 to open the Kaua‘i Humane Society, and found 20 dogs running loose in the back parking lot. The remaining 55 dogs that were in the shelter were loose inside the building or hiding.
This comes at an unfortunate time for KHS as the nonprofit has dealt with increased animal populations, decreased adoptions, staffing shortages, and fluctuations in tourism due to the pandemic, causing the shelter to close one day a week. And while the independent organization is attempting to bring justice to the situation by offering up a reward of $20,000 for the information resulting in the conviction of those responsible for the break-in, authorities stated that no one has been caught.
“This investigation is still active and officers are following up on potential leads,” stated KPD to Kaua‘i Now.
The department is unable to release additional information but stated that no arrests have been made at this time.
The criminal(s) entered the facility 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 that they have never had a break-in like this before and that despite all the regular precautions the shelter takes, it was ill-prepared for this type of event. “…because we never would have imagined something like this would take place,” Crane said while extending the shelter’s deepest condolences to the family of the two deceased dogs who were boarded while their family was off 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-intake animal shelter on the Garden Isle. KHS is a non-profit organization and has held a no-kill status since 2019. In 2021, KHS’s positive release outcome rate averaged 96% for all animals.
KHS is looking at updating its security system and installing cameras within the facility. In the meantime, the nonprofit has hired a patrol while the facility is closed to ensure the security and safety of the animals and staff.
“The staff and myself are very confused about the motives of this crime,” Crane said noting that the organization still feels victimized. “It’s difficult for compassionate people to understand how someone could endanger so many animals through pure 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 about The Kaua‘i Humane Society click here.