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Monday, February 21, 2011

Community Meeting Update

Last Thursday's meeting in the WVA Comm Room was a very satisfying experience, audience included, I've heard. There were at least 20 in the audience, which is astounding given the very late announcement of the meeting. Those of you who said you would call or email with special questions and needs and offers: please do!

Dr. Brady Bergin and Keith Dane (Director Equine Protection, Humane Society of the U. S.) gave a thorough update on numbers of donkeys captured and subsequently adopted after castration. (About 130.) The HSUS will definitely send over their team of Vets and Assistants to help us, once we are steadily capturing donkeys again. New locations for a trap are being arranged, 20 acre local holding areas are within our sights, and there are several people who are being interviewed and visited who could help relocate large numbers of donkeys, right on this Island, in good habitat. Keith has spent considerable time doing a site investigation of a very large piece of land with water, fencing, good donkey conditions. There are adopters of smaller numbers of donkeys in queue, with more needed.

Yes, we will be getting to the donkeys that tend to hang mostly around Waikoloa. Those donkeys are pretty much the same donkeys up the hill, there are multiple ways for them to travel up and down the mountain. But we will do trapping here. Right now Brady is working on developing the cooperation needed to capture donkeys in a new area that will be very productive. Keith is in the mix as he sees where HSUS might be able to help provide the nudge to move it along.

Hearing that so many Waikoloans don't think the donkeys are a threat and that they are like the humane approach being taken, and are resolved to the long haul –– That is especially important for Keith to hear, because he needs HSUS and their major donors to know there is strong and consistent community support.

Those with several new ideas about promoting the efforts better and some specific suggestions, I definitely noted them. I'll work on them to the best of my ability. Hey, I can use help!

Special shout outs to
  • Bird of CB Hawaii Horse Rescue in Puna who came back to Waikoloa after two full days work with Dr. Bergin's crew and hauling a trailer of donkeys from Waimea to Puna, before turning around and coming back for the meeting. CB Hawaii Horse Rescue has temporarily handled many donkeys, gotten them de-wormed and vaccinated, settled down, personality assessed, farrier care if needed, extensively screened dozens of people who are adopting donkeys from the Rescue. What a wonderful contribution. And, despite her time and high costs, getting adopters to make a donation to defray expenses is still a tough sell. CB Hawaii Horse Rescue is worthy of your attention. CB is a non-profit, donkeys are making it thanks to her personal generosity. See the permanent link on the right.
  • North Hawaii News, Editor Ron Eland and contributor Patti Cook, who featured the meeting prominently Thursday edition and lead at least two people to the meeting. This helps over-all community awareness, too, and I am thankful to have NHN!
Dr Brady Bergin, Donkey Hero;  Anika Glass, Malama Waikoloa Nightingales;  Keith Dane, USHS National Equine Protection Director.
Donations to the HSUS Hawaii Donkey fund pass directly to Waikoloa donkeys, see "donate" on the right. This covers the expenses Dr. Bergin wants covered, and much more.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Waikoloa Donkey Community Meeting on THURSDAY @ 6:30!

Waikoloa Nightingale Donkey Community Meeting!
Thursday February 17
6:30 PM
WVA Community Room
This coming Thursday, a community meeting to update the community and provide another opportunity to express concerns or ask questions is planned. A great time to compare notes and to help the team locate where there are donkey poking about.
Dr. Brady Bergin, Waimea veterinarian, and  Keith Dane, Director Equine Protection, Humane Society of the United States, will brief the community on recent progress managing and re-homing the feral Waikoloa donkeys in the Waikoloa Village Association Community Room, 68-1792 Melia St.
All welcome. Beginning at 6:30 PM, the meeting will be 1 hour, with plenty of time access after for individual discussions with the experts. The meeting is hosted by Mālama Waikoloa Nightingales. For more information, call 937-2309.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HB 1334 - Deferred!

Iʻm happy to report that the House Water, Land and Ocean (WLO) Committee "deferred" action on HB 1334, Relating to Feral Animals, that would have let a State agency the right to control any mammal in sweeping and ill-advised ways, including spreading feral animals far and wide, even requiring the County to pay for spreading them, with no funding.

There was lots of public testimony, including ours, and Friends of Malama Waikoloa Nightingales. 
Deferred means it is "probably" dead for this 2011 Legislative Session, but I will keep an eye on it to make sure it doesnʻt sneak back.  The Hawaii Legislature website is useful for finding and tracking bills.

update... It is pau. There may be other developments, but not such sweeping ones. And not a Bill this session.

Friday, February 4, 2011

HOT Action Update: Waikoloa Nightingale Donkeys Need Your Help NOW

House Bill 1334, Relating to Feral Animals - Oppose

“HB 1334, Relating to Feral Animals,” is a very concerning piece of legislation that would give State agencies the right to control any mammal deemed feral. The alternatives given to the State are sweeping and unnecessary.The Bill is linked above and elsewhere in this post.
... update... issue currently 'dead'. Something may still come about, but not this.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Donkeys in the News!

Yes, the Medical Associates of the Humane Society of the U.S. has delayed sending its team of veterinarians over because we couldn't guarantee having a minimum of 100 ready for them. But it's still on for when we can.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bergin and our rancher have caught 35 and have them in process for the more than 50 pre-approved adopters who are awaiting them! So, it goes on, and we will get there!

Catherine Cruz of KITV is doing a super job in following this story!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Planning Begins for Donkey Sanctuary

While we definitely still have donkeys available for adoption, we also are beginning work in earnest for some sort of permanent donkey playground, sanctuary, fenced place that is near by where we can maintain a herd of some size, using humane birth control methods. How big it is and where it is determines the number that can be protected from their own over-population in the future. Fencing, water, access, food, ... a long list of needs to manage a successful program. The United States Humane Society once again is stepping forward to give us guidance and assistance. This will be a local effort, but their advice and ideas are invaluable. Three experts from the USHS will be here in Waikoloa soon to meet with volunteers and community leaders to help us plan a way forward.   We are hoping for good participation from a variety of folks. I'll post after the meeting with who participated in the discussion and with some highlights.