For Immediate Release

Contact: Maui Humane Society, Jenny Miller, [email protected] 808 426-0124

Maui Humane Society Veterinary Team Celebrate Record Breaking Comeback in Wake of Pandemic Disruption

MHS Logo

(Puunene, HI 11/10/20) Nov. 7 – 13 is National Animal Shelter Appreciation week.  Maui Humane Society is grateful for the opportunity to highlight the tremendous work of the Veterinary Team in response to the pandemic.  The passion, commitment and dedication of all shelter staff is ceaseless but the good works are only possible through our community support, donors, volunteers and foster families.  MHS extends appreciation to all who contribute to the betterment of Maui’s animals.

Maui Humane Society Veterinary Clinic staff are known for their dedication to serving our community’s animals with passion and professionalism.  What’s remarkable is how they manage to juggle the medical needs of the shelter’s average population of 150 animals, a “virtual” shelter of an additional 75 animals in foster care homes, a high volume low-cost spay/neuter clinic, specialized Hope Fund surgeries and spontaneously respond to trauma cases requiring immediate emergency care.  

The Veterinary team regularly performs with precision; every minute is pre-calculated to determine the number of animals they can treat while maintaining the highest standard of care.  Spay/neuter surgeries are choreographed down to the second with staff prepping and delivering animals onto surgery tables like a conveyor belt.  Due to the space constraints of MHS’s Veterinary Clinic, there is literally no more room to increase the capacity for care.

CEO Steve MacKinnon stated, “We want to further our impact on the community cat population and animals who need medical care, however we are limited by the size of our vet clinic. We have a waitlist of Hope Fund animals requiring major surgeries and the demand for low cost and free spay/neuter is continuous. Unfortunately, our physical limitations are restricting the impact we could be having. If an animal requires a dental, this results in less animals being spayed or neutered that day because a surgery table is in use. Regardless, our team is consistently producing outstanding results despite these limitations.”

The onset of COVID required MHS to temporarily stop performing elective surgeries like spay & neuter for public animals.  The ten week hiatus meant that more kittens were born, adding to Maui’s community cat overpopulation.  Since reopening in July, the Vet staff have worked as diligently as possible to make up for the disruption in service.  The number of surgeries during the last four months consistently average over 700.  This October, all previous monthly records were surpassed and a new record high of 800 spay/neuter surgeries was achieved.  

Director of Veterinary Services, Kelly Maguire stated, “We were crushed when we had to limit surgeries due to covid. When we were able to return, our team was dedicated to make up for lost time. In the past we were able to hold large scale MASH clinic events, which involved recruiting numerous vets and volunteers to boost our capacity to spay and neuter a few hundred more animals. Due to covid safety, we obviously couldn’t do that. Instead, for the past 4 months current vet staff and a few dedicated surgery volunteers have worked harder and longer, pushing themselves to spay and neuter hundreds more animals. As a result, we have spay/neutered over 3000 animals compared to our goal of just over 2000. This was done in addition to all the hundreds of animals we also assisted with other life changing surgeries and treatments. I have never been prouder of our community, our awesome volunteers and our tremendously dedicated staff who all came together and worked their hearts off! With this continued teamwork we can truly save lives and continue to make a difference in pet overpopulation.”