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Tragedy of Abandonment: Kamehameha Schools Issue Death Sentences For Abandoned Cats

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Abandoned cats at Kamehameha Schools and the person who allowed this to happen.
Who is Robert K.W.H. Nobriga? Trustee Robert K.W.H. Nobriga is the Chairman of the Board for Kamehameha Schools and has the power to save the abandoned and helpless cats from certain death.

 

Overview: David vs. Goliath Cigarette Butts vs. Goliath

Kamehameha Schools have decided to terminate well-managed Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) programs for homeless cats at two of its properties on the Big Island: at Keauhou Shopping Center and above the Lako gas station. According to Kamehameha Schools, they are doing this because “The well-being of our community, native wildlife, and the preservation of cultural sites are priorities for Kamehameha Schools.”

Well-managed TNR programs are more in line with the priorities of Kamehameha Schools than unmanaged colonies of cats. If trapping is not allowed, these colonies will soon grow out of control (dumping of unwanted cats by irresponsible pet owners is a constant problem at both locations). Also the cats will be more likely to approach people looking for food. If Kamehameha Schools think that discontinuing the TNR programs will somehow magically make the cats disappear, they are sorely misinformed.

None of the cats arrived at that shopping center on their own. They’ve all been dumped over the years. When the colony first started being managed, there were over 125 cats. Today, through TNR and good management, there are around 30. Do Kamehameha Schools want hundreds of cats again? Because that’s where they’re headed if they discontinue the TNR programs.

Do not misunderstand: these cats will suffer and die if these changes are introduced.

The person at Kamehameha Schools in charge of both Keauhou Shopping Center and the property above the Lako gas station is Jennifer Tom, Senior Asset Manager, jetom@ksbe.edu. The manager of Keauhou Shopping Center is Stephen Hicks shicks@wpgus.com, (808)322-3000. More names are listed at the bottom of this page.

An Open Letter to Kamehameha Schools

Who will speak for those who can not? I will. Will you?
 
Why is it that those who didn’t cause the problem, the cats, are the total and complete recipients of, ultimately, eradication and death?
 
Is The Kamehameha School A Role Model For Good or Evil? If the Kamehameha School system envisions themselves as teachers, what lessons are they teaching when we condemn innocent lives to death? Ordering death for something these loving cats did not cause?
 
What type of decision-making and problem-solving skills will our children derive from such a callous, heartless, and inhumane plan?
 
Just because you don’t see a cat struggling every day, walking on hard lava, cutting their paws and never healing; just because you don’t experience the fear, the loss of faith and utter confusion a cat has as to why they were dumped; and just because you don’t experience endless thirst, prolonged hunger, have nowhere to safe to sleep, doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. It’s happening right here, right now. Open your eyes.
 
Ignorance is Not Bliss. Ignorance is Ultimately Death: Ignoring the plight of the cats may somehow make it acceptable to you, but not to these innocent creatures, these discarded victims of indifference, it is a slow death sentence.
 
Legal Ramifications? Is abandoning the cats to starvation even legal?
 
HRS section 711-1100 to 1110.5 govern animals. 711-1109 Cruelty to animals in the second degree: § 711-1109 Cruelty to animals in the second degree.
  • (1) A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
    • (a) Overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, beats, causes substantial bodily injury to, or starves any animal, or causes the overdriving, overloading, torture, torment, beating, or starving of any animal; [notice “any animal,” not just “Pets”
    • (b) Deprives a pet animal of necessary sustenance or causes that deprivation.

Note that “pet animal” or “pet” means a dog, cat, domesticated rabbit, guinea pig, domesticated pig, or caged birds (passeriformes, piciformes, and psittaciformes only) so long as not bred for consumption.

Thank you for reconsidering the adverse, and possibly illegal, adverse impact upon the helpless cats.

 
What is the Lesson? The lesson is accountability, personal responsibility, and being a role model for doing the right thing.
 
The cats didn’t decide to be born, and then all somehow decide to meet up at either the Keauhou Shopping Center or just go to the Lako gas station.
 

feral cats

A Brief Refresher – The Mission of Kamehameha Schools: “By operating world-class Hawaiian schools and engaging with communities to transform educational systems, we will raise ‘ōiwi leaders who are empowered and unified, and who will solve the issues of our people and communities.” Are you really acting to “solve the issues of our communities” when you’re condemning innocent creatures to death?

Who is the Guilty Party? It is the owners who took responsibility for a cat and then decided that responsibility was too much, or it just didn’t suit them anymore. It is much like a half-smoked cigarette, no longer needed, and someone simply flicks the butt out of the moving car window.

The cats were not an active component of this equation. They were simply viewed as a now-unwanted byproduct of a decision where somebody once wanted a cat, and now they don’t. Good for the person? Perhaps, but horrific for the cat!

What’s worse is that people will continue to dump unfixed cats there, adding to the feral cat over-population problem. Without TNR, the cat colony numbers will sky-rocket.

Who’s to Know? Who’s to Care? Turning a blind eye is either blatant indecision or exhibits cowardice that defies a plea for compassion.

Are the Cats Really Feral? Let’s talk about the difference between a feral cat and an abandoned cat. Feral cats are born there, and abandoned cats are dumped there.

None of these cats at the shopping center or gas station arrived there on their own. They’ve all been dumped over the years. These were pets who ended up becoming too much work or too much of an inconvenience for their owners, and were summarily dumped like trash somewhere to fend for themselves amongst speeding cars, broken glass, and rough lava rock.

Out of Car, Out of Mind: I have fed cats at the Kona Transfer Station for over five years. I have, on many occasions, witnessed someone drive up to the old Humane Society building, but it was after hours. What was their solution? Open their car door, throw the cat out, and then I assume they find comfort in freeing themselves of obligation and the former owner thinks their former pet is smart enough to go to the front door of the Humane Society and patiently wait until tomorrow for admittance.

With no food provided by volunteers, these abandoned cats will go to the restaurants and approach people to beg for scraps, as well as forage in the dumpsters. Kind people will feed them in the shopping center so they will continue to look for food there.

Did You Know? An unspayed cat can have four litters per year in Hawaii’s warm and temperate climate. They can become pregnant at only four months old, and while nursing!

Kicking the Cat Down the Road (or Not In My Backyard): What will happen under the Kamehameha Schools eradication program is that the cats will be forced to seek food in dumpsters, in parking lots, and by crossing busy roads in search of food and water — in effect, the cats will either starve or dehydrate to death, or get hit by a car. Forcing the cats out of the backyard of these Kamehameha Schools-owned properties will only have the cats going elsewhere, onto other properties. Feral cat NIMBYism, anyone?

Kitties of a Lesser God: It is my belief that, most of the cats are not feral but, sadly, simply, abandoned, discarded, and thrown-away. These are not disposable items. The cats are living, loving, caring creatures. They are to be loved and cared for, not wadded up like the paper around a Happy Meal.

Who Should Do Jail Time? When someone is found guilty of a crime, they can’t hire someone to go to jail for them. They have to go to jail. It is their debt, their obligation.

Who is Doing The Jail Time? The wrong party, the cats, are paying the ultimate price: hunger, thirst, starvation, lack of shelter, lack of safety from cars… And, worst of all, indifference from man, from the very people who caused this situation in the first place.

Many of the "feral" cats are abandoned pets.

What Can You Do? The Right Thing! I am writing with a gravely saddened heart, imploring you to reconsider the recent decision to terminate the Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) programs for homeless cats at your properties, specifically the Keauhou Shopping Center and above the Lako gas station.

The Only Good Cat, Is a Dead Cat: Is this what you believe?

Kamehameha Schools are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Cats don’t disappear when you take away food. At best, they’ll eke out a living by eating the native birds and lizards. At worst, they’ll die a long, slow death due to starvation and disease.

Who, if not you, will speak for those that cannot?

Thank you for finding your true compassion.

P.S. The George Carlin Analysis And Solution: George Carlin had a solution for those who thought they were impervious important, and immune to accountability. Read the below and substitute those who abandon cats for the term ‘bankers’ below:

The government wants to stop drug trafficking. They’re spending billions of dollars a year, and they’re not getting anywhere. I have a solution that would cost a lot less money and be a lot more effective. Prosecute the bankers.

The drug cartels need money to operate. They get that money from banks. The banks know that the money is from drug trafficking, but they don’t care. They’re just happy to make a profit.

If the government started prosecuting bankers who launder drug money, the drug cartels would be out of business in a matter of months. And it would cost the government a lot less money than what they’re spending now.

So why doesn’t the government do it? Because the banks own the government. The people who run the banks are the same people who run the government. They’re all in bed together.

So if you want to stop drug trafficking, the first thing you have to do is get rid of the bankers. That’s the only way to do it.

In short, don’t penalize the victims; penalize the humans that created this situation. 

Want to Help? Reach Out to Those in Power!

An easy, simple, and free way to help the cats is to reach out to those in power and tell them that stopping TNR programs is only going to make the feral and abandoned cat problem worse.

The cats cannot speak for themselves, but you can speak for them. 

Cat yawning.

Below is a list of people that have some influence on Kamehameha Schools. The most important to this issue are:

  • Jennifer Tom, Senior Asset Manager:  jetom@ksbe.edu
  • Stephen Hicks, Manager of Keauhou Shopping Center:  shicks@wpgus.com (808)322-3000
  • Robert K.W.H. Nobriga: ronobrig@ksbe.edu (or use ksrc@ksbe.edu)

Others are listed below:

Mahalo for sharing your aloha!

Mahalo For Sharing Your Aloha
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