Lessons from tanker dog's rescue can make life better for animals
Something remarkable happened in April when Hokget, a white terrier, was rescued after almost a month alone on the crippled tanker Insiko 1907. The world saw how the spirit of aloha extended to the animal world, as people from across the United States and around the world demonstrated a deep love for animals .
Hokget's plight reminded everyone of the strength of the human-animal bond and of how animals in emergency situations can be rescued. It also reminded us that every animal in need of a home should have one.
Rescues require money and resources. But the promise of a home for every animal cannot be solved by money alone. The solution depends on every person in our community taking responsibility.
There are four humane societies in Hawai'i and several other organizations to help animals. In all, there are probably fewer than 150 workers and 700 volunteers. But there are almost one million people in Hawai'i, 96 percent of whom believe that animal companionship is important to their quality of life, according to a 1996 Ward Research poll.
Both attention and action are needed from each person to assure quality of life for companion animals in Hawai'i.
Start with the best possible care for the pets closest to you. And read the list below to learn some basics that will help assure the well-being of animals.
Save this list, pass it on to friends, relatives and neighbors who have pets, and become one of the caring people working to assure a bright future for animals in Hawai'i.
- Plan before getting a pet. You may be making a 15- to 20-year commitment to provide care, so don't act on impulse.
- Spay or neuter your pet. The health benefits to your pets are numerous. And the city's Neuter Now program, administered by the Humane Society, makes it very affordable.
- ID your pet. Each year, thousands of lost pets are brought to shelters and never reunited with their families. Get your pet a tag or microchip ID today.
- Help a homeless pet. Don't assume a lost cat, dog, turtle, bird or rabbit was abandoned there may be a grieving owner hoping for his or her pet's return. Call the Humane Society's lost and found number at 946-2187, ext. 285.
- Remember that training works. Pets don't learn good manners unless they are taught.
- Take your pet to a veterinarian, who can provide vaccinations and important health information and help you understand your pet's behavior.
- Never abandon an animal. Bring it to the Humane Society for a chance for a new home.
Tag No. 06996
A princess? Maybe. But certainly not a warrior. This Zena is quite a friendly dog who enjoys the company of adults, kids and even other pets. She is white with black markings. At age 5, this pit mix is already spayed and ready for a new home today.
Tag No. 06810
What a face! This adorable, 2-year-old cat has stunning green eyes and a light tortoise shell-type coat in colors of cream, tan and golden brown. She enjoys the outdoors.
Adoptions, lost-animal retrieval and McInerny Dog Park are open noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and holidays at 2700 Wai'alae Ave. The facility is open 24 hours a day for incoming animals and for emergency rescues. If you've lost or found an animal, call 946-2187, ext. 285.
The Hawaiian Humane Society also has construction plans available for a cat playhouse.