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Terminate Penny Cistaro

This petition had 1,991 supporters


The current Board of Directors (BOD) of the Kauai Humane Society (KHS) has refused to take responsible action after being presented with an overwhelming number of facts that make it evident that the current Executive Director (ED) must be replaced.


The board not only has ignored the facts that have been formally presented to them, but has also ignored the severe, pervasive discontent and concern of the professional staff over the general welfare of the animals for more than a year.


Following are key points:



1.     Salt Pond Kittens Killed Unnecessarily


-Clearly demonstrates that Director Cistaro needlessly killed kittens that had an appropriate foster home AND then lied about this fact to major donors.


-The kittens were not sick and weighed over ONE pound, meaning

they were eligible for foster care per KHS’ policy.


2.     The numbers for live release rate (LRR) and euthanasia have worsened under Director Cistaro.


The LRR dropped from 48% in 2013 to 39% 2014.  That means that the LRR was 9% WORSE in 2014 than in 2013.

The euthanasia rate increased from 68% in 2013 to 70% in 2014.

The number of animals surrendered to KHS dropped from 1150 in 2013 to 757 in 2014.


“The LRR is the most important measure of success for any animal welfare organization.”  -Asilomar Accords  (In 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the country met in Asilomoar, California to create goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States.)


The BOD has falsely promoted a decrease in euthanasia rates, even after they were given the corrected numbers.



3.     Director Cistaro chooses euthanasia as her ‘go to’ approach and does not have an open mind or progressive approach to saving animals.  This is made evident in her strong resistance to progressive auxiliary programs that save lives such as the Transfer Program, cooperation with Kauai Community Cat Project and other foster programs, the Field Trip Program, etc.


- In this article, Director Cistaro is referred to as operating shelter as if it was “the Dark Ages.”


-  Under Cistaro’s management the Sacramento shelter had a LRR of 20% and a euthanasia rate of 80%.  The ED that replaced Cistaro has reversed those numbers and now approximately 80% of the animals leave alive.


-  There are numerous instances of mainland shelters requesting animals from KHS with Director Cistaro refusing to transfer those animals.  In addition, Director Cistaro lied to major donors about cost of transferring animals in order to deter support for the transfer program.



4.     Due to the poor performance of Director Cistaro regarding the welfare of the animals, the management of the staff, as well as lying to multiple individuals, several major donors have expressed their concerns to the BOD and called for the removal of the ED.  The Board continues to ignore these requests, even when major funding is at stake.



5.     Multiple cases of animal neglect and poor animal management, ultimately resulting in loss of animal lives, have been reported to both Director Cistaro and the BOD.  These reports have repeatedly been ignored and no corrective measures taken.



 6.      The current and only veterinarian at KHS is ready to resign based strictly on the animal neglect and mismanagement under the current ED.  She has been the KHS veterinarian for 16 years and has worked under 5 different EDs, and this is the first time she has made formal complaints to the BOD regarding an Executive Director.


7.     Spay/Neuters on Kauai have decreased under Director Cistaro. 

Director Cistaro is directly responsible for the mobile spay/neuter clinic not running for over a year because of mismanagement of staff.  She has also discontinued the practice of providing low cost spay/neuter certificates to island veterinarians. 


 8.     The BOD and ED have scrambled over the past 3 – 4 weeks to cover and/or correct some of the major transgressions formally presented to them on April 28th, 2015.  They have ignored the group of donors and staff who made the presentation.  They have ignored the recorded concerns of the staff and community for over a year.  They simply cannot correct a mindset that lacks compassion and forward thinking for the animals.  And they have failed to act responsibly by at the very least putting the ED on administrative leave while hiring a neutral third party to investigate. 















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