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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.