HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of animal care supporters waved signs and staged what they called a Rally for Truth outside the Hawaiian Humane Society Monday morning.
"There's wrongdoing happening here," Jana Moore said.
Moore and others aligned with the group People for Animals First accuse the shelter of euthanizing animals that have treatable conditions plus healthy strays and surrendered pets.
"You're thinking they're going to look for a home for it. This is not the truth. A lot of them are taken into the back, given a five-minute assessment, then they're euthanized," said Cindy Keiki, who operates a rescue called Aloha Kitty.
Hawaii News Now requested interviews with Humane Society officials but was told no one was available, and instead was provided with interviews done by public relations firm iQ 360.
In the interviews the Humane Society’s lead veterinarian said euthanasia policies follow national standards and are only done on animals that are severely sick.
“When I think about the number of animals that we need to euthanize, for their own good or the good of the community, those numbers pale in comparison to the numbers of animals that we can help every day,” Kasey Carter said.
The Humane Society insists its euthanasia rates are at an all-time low. As Oahu’s only open admissions shelter it takes in an average of 75 animals a day.
In the public relations video, board chair Bob Armstrong said a new $2 million spay and neuter clinic at the Moiliili shelter should further reduce the number of euthanasia procedures.
"When they come to us it's usually because they're surrendered or they are a stray. We're finding another home for them. It's a new beginning here," he said.
“We don’t euthanize an animal because we don’t have enough space. We don’t euthanize because an animal has been here too long. We hold them until they’re adopted,” Carter said.
Protesters also want Hawaiian Humane Society CEO Lisa Fowler removed, alleging she bullies employees who try to save animals.
Sarah Worth with People for Animals First worked at the Humane Society and accuses Fowler of creating a toxic work environment.
"We've had 37 employees resign. Six employees have been fired for trying to save animals. Within that short period of time she's caused so much destruction to the institution," she said.
In a written statement Armstrong said the board stands behind the Hawaiian Humane Society’s executive team, but it will investigate workplace concerns and review the shelter’s animal care policies.