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Help Charities That Care for Animals

June 18, 2009
Commentary contributed by Phyllis Tavares · 9th Life Hawai‘i

The dreadful downturn in our economy has affected all of us. We all know people who have lost jobs or homes. Some have moved to the Mainland.

What is not common knowledge is how this affects the pets of these families. 9th Life Hawai‘i has received hundreds of calls. We are begged to take animals from people who have lost their homes. They may be moving into something less expensive where animals are not allowed (shame on the landlords for not being more compassionate). They may be moving to the Mainland in the hopes of finding employment, and in that case, they simply cannot afford the cost of shipping their beloved pets to the Mainland. The average vet certificate required by the airlines can cost at least $80. Airfare for the animal is over $100. Crates, depending on the size of the animal, cost from $30 to $150.

What happens to a family who has had two cats or three dogs for 10 years? They grieve for these animals that were part of their family, but they simply don’t have the money to take their pets with them. What happens to these dogs and cats? All across the United States, animals are being dumped or left behind in empty houses. On Maui, they are dumped at parks, beaches and sugar cane fields. They get taken to the Maui Humane Society which already had an admitted 70-plus percent kill rate for cats and a 60-plus percent kill-rate for dogs before this dreadful economic downturn. These desperate people call 9th Life Hawai‘i or East Maui Animal Refuge (The Boo Boo Zoo) hoping to place their animals in a no-kill facility where their beloved pets will be safe. East Maui Animal Refuge (EMAR) has already sent out an SOS because of diminishing donations (572-8308). 9th Life Hawai‘i’s donations have also diminished. 9th Life and EMAR cannot help the animals without support from individuals, companies and foundations that are still in a financial position to help.

Now more than ever, we need to help charities that care for living souls, be they two-legged or four-legged. 9th Life needs your help to help those that cannot speak for themselves. I don’t believe there is one Hawaiian foundation that has companion animal welfare as a focus of interest. I would love to be wrong about that. Do you want to help?

Call 9th Life Hawai‘i at 572-3499.



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