Animal Care Foundation questioned about transition

Animal Care Foundation questioned about transition

An animal organization that's had some trouble in the past looks forward to a new future, but not before there are new complaints against it.

The Animal Care Foundation closed its office on Hawaii Kai Driver October 1st because the $8,000 a month rent was too much for the non-profit to pay.

"We've closed down the clinic and we took a little extra time because we wanted to make sure whatever facility, clinic, how we did it was going to be right this time because we made a few mistakes the first time," said Sabina De Giacomo, Animal Care Foundation Veterinarian.

In the transition we were told that 150 cats and several dogs are inside De Giacomo's house she rents in Hawaii Kai.  The Hawaiian Humane Society also received a tip and made a house visit.

"Are the animals okay?" asked Keoni Vaughn, Hawaiian Humane Society.

"The animals are great," responded De Giacomo.

"And how many do you have?" asked Vaughn.

"A couple," said De Giacomo.

"A couple? So you have two?" asked Vaughn.

"We're within legal limits," responded De Giacomo.

"So you have less than 10 animals on property?" asked Vaughn.

"We do," said De Giacomo.

She wouldn't let them take a look.  And she declined to give us an exact number of animals inside.

"We are completely within the legal limits and honestly numbers just scare people so I'm just not going to give a number per se," said De Giacomo. "We have over 15,000 in the system registered to us. We probably have over 400 in our foster care system but we only have a couple here."

There are plenty of animals up for adoption on the foundation's Facebook page.

Volunteers do come to walk the dogs and clean up after the animals.

Some neighbors we spoke with on Pepeekeo Place did complain about the barking, flies and smell coming from the house, especially on garbage day when the waste has been piling up all week.

The Animal Care Foundation has had some trouble in the past.  In 2009 it was awarded a spay and neuter contract with the city but didn't do the work.

Later that year the foundation was investigated by the State Attorney General's office for "deceptive acts and practices."  De Giacomo says the former director of the clinic is no longer there or affiliated with the foundation.

She also says they'll start moving to a new place in Waianae as early as tomorrow.  Still for fear of our camera's catching the wrong angle she didn't want us taking pictures inside today.

"We're a little disorganized right now with regards to all the moving stuff," said De Giacomo. "Somebody is going to get all worked up and worried that's the whole house especially with the advent of these new hoarder TV shows. If you catch that one slice that's what sticks in some people's minds."

However the $1,248,000, seven bedroom five bathroom house is open to perspective buyers.

For more information about the Animal Care Foundation click here.

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