The Kauai Humane Society misused public monies, kept poor records and violated state animal euthanasia law, according to recently-released county audit.
Animal activists on the Garden Island say the 46-page document confirms what they had long feared.
"There's a lot of people in the community who feel that some criminal charges should be filed," said Kauai Community Cat Project President Basil Scott.
The audit into the animal shelter took about a year and a half to complete and was finalized last week.
It examined the Kauai Humane Society's operations from 2012 to 2015. Among the findings:
County funds were not solely used for county-related services.
The shelter did not keep a clear record of documents, which prevented the auditors from doing their job.
And unweaned kittens were put down before a required two-day waiting period.
"The findings about killing the animals were surprising and disappointing," Scott said. "The financial findings were also surprising because the auditor couldn't establish a cost basis, the records were so poor, they had to give up."
The audit looked into 45 cases and found that 30 animals were killed before the minimum two-day hold time.
Current Kauai Humane Society Executive Director Scott Pisani said the nonprofit doesn't have the resources to provide the level of care needed.
"Would it be right to hold those kittens for two days when we don't have the level of care we can provide? We don't have the resources to provide around-the-clock care, feeding every two hours etc.," Pisani said.
"It's a conflict between doing the best thing in the interest of the animal if there's no one who can care for that animal, versus what the law is strictly written," he said.
Pisani suggested building a bottle baby nursery for the unweaned kittens, but he says that will cost millions of dollars.
The audit will be accepted into the county's record at a council meeting Wednesday.