Oahu animal shelter works through lease issues

KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Originally the OSPCA had to be out of its current location here at Campbell Industrial Park by May 31 and take its 150 animals with it which caused concerns, but now a temporary extension has been worked out.

For more than two years Aloha Petroleum has let the OSPCA rent this space for a discounted price. The lease was coming up and now the animals are allowed to stay through August when the organization hopes to build permanent shelter.

"Our new site that we are going to construct a green structure, a prefab structure that goes up in eight days and is all ready to be shipped in Hawaii," said Stephanie Ryan, Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals President.

That new shelter will be at an undisclosed site using funds that haven't officially been delivered. It's the lack of details and transparency that have in part set off a rash of criticism on Facebook from some former employees and volunteers, many who are anonymous.

"I think they feel too that they have been abandoned and maybe not all the facts have been told to them," said Pat Mullett, an OSPCA volunteer who is fostering a dog, referring to the people who are have been critical of the organization's leadership.

"I want to stay focused and our vision towards moving to the next shelter and a smooth transition," said Ryan, who declined to talk about the negative comments.

The critics did post various documents showing how much the organization owes. Ryan says like many corporations they are on payment plans. Their annual operating budget of $400,000 largely comes from donations and it's not uncommon for non-profits to hang on by their claws.

"We are just barely treading water and we know that so we come because we love the animals. Although it's less than an ideal place they are in a safe place," said Cyn Okido, OSPCA volunteer since 2009. "If through all of this it does improve and the animals are taken better care of then it will be worth going through all this heartache but for us to see, the animals are ultimately going to be the ones who suffer. We're just attached to the animals every single one of them in there."

A new in house veterinarian and shelter director named Dr. William Masters starts next week.

As for those critics barking the loudest...

"If you're going to complain, maybe be part of the solution, that would be great," said Okido.

The OSPCA is holding a fundraiser this Saturday to supplement the new shelter plans.

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