PUHI – Members of the Kaua’i community invited very special guests for Thanksgiving Day as they participated in the Kaua’i Humane Society Home for the Holidays vacation program.

The program encourages families to bring home a shelter dog or up to two cats if they are housed in the same kennel and can travel together. If a family decides to adopt their Thanksgiving guests, the adoption fee will be reduced by 50%.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 13 families had picked up an animal or had scheduled a pickup time.

Along with the animal, families were given a backpack with treats, food and toys, and a Thanksgiving Day food list that may or may not be shared with their pet (the turkey in white meat is acceptable, onions are not safe for pets).

Karyle Soto picked up her pet midday on Wednesday. Soto couldn’t wait to spend Thanksgiving hiking with his foster dog and visiting his grandmother.

“Honestly, (hospitality) is more for me,” Soto said.

Soto lost her dog earlier this year and when she saw a flyer with photos of potential foster pets, she just couldn’t refuse to give a dog a home for the holidays.

Ensuring that animals return home with foster families safely and that they have the resources they will need is a coordinated effort by shelter staff. And it pays off for the staff and the animals, said KHS executive director Nicole Crane.

“We can create a program that is just happy, and everyone feels joy,” Crane said. “And we were pretty confident that at least one couple would find their forever home. It makes the whole program interesting.

And Crane was right. On Wednesday afternoon, a foster family had already adopted their new pet.

Another benefit of the program is that time spent in a shelter helps shelter staff gather more information about an animal’s behavior outside the shelter. This is the case of the wandering Millie. Due to unknowns in her past life, shelter staff have little information to put on file. Information about a pet’s behavior can help shelter staff make sure pets like Millie come home with suitable families.

There will be more opportunities for families who want to spend the holidays with a four-legged friend. KHS will also be supporting Home for the Holidays over Christmas and New Years.

For those who wish to financially support the shelter, Tuesday is the ninth annual Tuesday, a worldwide celebration of generosity. Those interested in joining KHS ‘Giving Tuesday initiative can visit https://bit.ly/givingtuesdaykhs.

The December donations will illuminate the refuge.

From December, KHS will be covered in LED Christmas lights. These lights will come on as the gifts arrive. For every $ 40 donated, KHS will activate a 40-foot beam of lights. To help light up the shelter, donors can visit bit.ly/lightuptheshelter.

In addition to Christmas lights, the KHS lobby will be adorned with a gift tree filled with prescriptions made from photos of adoptable animals. Anyone who donates to the shelter will be able to choose one of the ornaments to take home and hang on their own tree.

Holiday donations are a big boost to shelter programming.

Last year, between Giving Tuesday and New Years Day, KHS received approximately $ 100,000 in donations.

“When we get these big donations at the end of the year, it helps us start the next year really strong, helps us create more programs for our animals,” Crane said.

Last year, donations funded a program that allows KHS to go to homeless and low-income communities to provide animals with vaccines, dewormers, leashes, collars, pet food and bags. waste for animals.

KHS hopes this year’s giving season will continue to support next year’s programming.

“Donations to KHS go directly to our animals in our shelter and in our community,” said Crane. “This serves to provide the animals with comfortable housing, meet their medical needs, exercise and more. “