HOME AT LAST, Inc. (HAL) is a NO-KILL Animal Refuge that was established 4 years ago and is presently located in Waimea. It is a 501©3 Non-Profit organization. HAL is set up to care for dogs, cats and horses that have been abused or neglected either through willful intent or through ignorance, irresponsibility or lack of education. HAL NO-KILL Animal Refuge allows these animals to live out their lives without fear and with dignity security and love.
Many people are unaware that close to 1000 animals are being killed each month on the Big Island simply because there is no place to care for them. We have a feral cat population that must be brought under control as well as a growing feral dog population. On an island that has so many hard to reach areas, there are dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, exotic birds and other species that are eternally chained or caged – sometimes remembered with food occasionally tossed at them – sometimes starved to death. Some never feel the warmth of a loving hand. Many animals are being abandoned by their owners who feel they need to give them up because they are facing financial problems. They do not take them to the local pound for fear of their being put down.
The statistics are tragic and shameful. Human beings are the stewards of the aina and it is up to us to address this problem and to find a solution. We already have many dogs and cats that have been saved from an unnecessary death, but the number that has been rescued is so small when you think of the many that are in need.
HAL IS URGENTLY SEEKING AN AG-ZONED LAND DONATION anywhere in the northern part of the Big Island from Pau’uilo to Kohala. It is extremely important to establish a NO-KILL facility for these innocent creatures that have no way of controlling their reproduction and no way of caring for themselves if they are abandoned, abused, neglected, starving, sick or just in need of tender pat on their heads.
Samantha A. Cristos is the President and Founding Director of Home At Last NO-KILL Animal Refuge. You may have seen her down at the Waimea Transfer Station in her small pickup accepting donations of HI-5 plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans. After her three years stationed at the dump, she relocated her donation site to the entrance of NAPA. You’ve probably seen her in a large, very purple pick-up truck. Anyone can come to NAPA on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3pm to personally deliver their donations. There are also barrels right beside entrance by the bushes where donations can be left at any time. Other items which are accepted as donations and generate funds are used cell phones and empty printer ink cartridges.
HAL NO-KILL Animal Refuge has many programs planned. To name a few: education on controlling the spiraling pet population, education on proper care of animals, free spay/neuter clinics for those who can not afford to fix their pets, adoption, foster care, sponsoring un-adoptable animals, therapy programs for adults and kids where both parties would benefit from the relationship since both people and animals need to heal, a pet cemetery and other projects as well.
WE ARE PRESENTLY FACING A CRISIS! The refuge is now located in Waimea but the residence where it now is will be going up for sale. If we do not find a place in the country right away, the rescued animals will be a risk. The best case scenario would be to be receive an AG-Zoned land donation with an existing building where the already rescued animals could be housed. HAL is asking the community to help us find someone who might be in a position to make such a donation. If not a land donation, then help in immediately finding a Section 8 approved rental with an adjacent barn or warehouse is essential.
We never have enough of some items: Dry dog or cat food is always appreciated. Scoopable cat litter is used daily. Clean towels are always in short supply as well as detergent and bleach. Once we have our location secured, we will have many needs such as volunteers, clearing land, construction of kennels, cat enclosures, stables, storage facilities, paddocks, a two-horse trailer, a clinic, portable kennels and carriers and cages. The slow economy has severely diminished our income. Cash donations are urgently needed as well and are tax-deductible.
The establishment of our facility will benefit all the people and animals on the Big Island and will reflect the reality that the people of the Big Island care for and are responsible for their animals. These animals are part of the aina. A lot of work will be involved in getting the refuge up and running. It is up to us to be responsible stewards in order to make this a success.
Please be a part of the solution to this real and tragic situation.
We are in need of a volunteer website builder and a volunteer grant writer as well. If you can help, please join us in this effort. Each day that goes by, more animals die. Your donations are greatly needed and appreciated. Make checks out to “Home At Last, Inc.” and mail to Home At Last, Inc., P. O. Box 6917, Kamuela, HI 96743.
For information, please contact Samantha at 989-9089, or e-mail us at HomeAtLastAnimalRefuge@hawaiiantel.net.