Molokai Humane Society elects new board, reviews finances

| July 27, 2012 | 11 Comments

An all-new board of directors for the Molokai Humane Society was chosen last Friday at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center during the non-profit group’s annual meeting.

The MoHS bylaws allow five to seven people on its board. Voted onto the board were Lyndon Dela Cruz, Tony Lauifi, Nan Walters, Karen Buhr and Frank Pratt. A sixth candidate, Darryl Canady, was not selected because he did not receive the requisite votes from 50 percent of the MoHS members in attendance.

Because last year’s board members had all been appointed, none of them chose to run for election. At the last annual meeting held June 20, 2011, the MoHS membership had not put forward any names to run for the board. Without any candidates, the board members were forced to reappoint themselves, as allowed under the bylaws if no candidates are nominated.

The MoHS had received criticism from its membership for not holding elections last year. Some members claimed they didn’t present any candidates because they had not received adequate notice of the last annual meeting.

“No one knew when the annual meeting was,” said MoHS member Jody Canady. “They never notified the membership.”

Besides holding elections at the July 20 annual meeting, it was also a chance to review the accomplishments from the past year. Just under 1,500 animals were treated over the past year, according to MoHS Executive Director Jenn Whitted.

“That’s a huge amount for this island, way more than we have ever done in the past,” said Whitted.

The storage container in Ho’olehua, which serves as the home for MoHS, has also been improved. The waiting area is now covered, a new sign was installed and a new storage container was brought in that doubles the size of the facility and allows for a separate, sterile area for surgery.

Molokai Humane Society Executive Director Jenn Whitted.


But the biggest development over the past year has been the hiring of a full-time veterinarian. In the past, a visiting vet would come in once a week. With the arrival of Dr. Stewart Morgan last November, animals were being treated five days a week by a vet.

The 2011-12 fiscal year was also the first year the MoHS has hired a full-time paid director. While some members have questioned the need for a director, Whitted, who earned a $40,000 salary, said it was necessary to fulfill the requirements of The Shields Animal Shelter Foundation, which offers matching funds for all the MoHS fundraising efforts.

Financially, the MoHS appears to be on solid ground. The balance sheet shows that at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, the MoHS had $93,531 in the bank after paying all expenses. Total income for the non-profit was $336,208, with approximately half coming from Maui County and the Shields Foundation and the other half coming from fees charged for services, membership dues and other donations. MoHS also earned money at a Cinqo de Mayo Mexican dinner fundraiser at Hotel Molokai.

The projected expenses on this year’s budget are only slightly higher than last year. Costs and income balance out at $370,000 with the majority, $224,000, covering personnel expenses. The largest salaries are Dr. Morgan, $103,000, and Whitted, $45,000. Two veterinary assistants, a bookkeeper, a clinic director and receptionist make up the other salaries.

Income is projected to come from these sources: $75,000 from Maui County; $75,000 from Shields Animal Shelter; $100,000 from grants, donations and fundraising; $20,000 from facility fee and retail amd $100,000 from vet services.

Whitted said she plans to offer an expanded spaying and neutering program this year through the ASPCA. With this program, Whitted believes the MoHS will become eligible for more grants from companies like Petsmart and other smaller organizations. “There is no question it will open doors for us,” said Whitted.

For animal owners, the biggest change will probably be the expanded hours of operation. Currently, the clinic on Maunaloa Highway is open Monday through Friday, 8 to noon. Starting Aug. 1, the hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. for surgery only or minor services. Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. the clinic will be open for appointments.

In the event of a health emergency, animal owners can always bring in their pets during these hours. For example, if your animal is not eating or drinking water and is vomiting, the vet will stop surgery to attend to the animal. But if it is not an actual emergency, Witted urges people to call 558-0000 and make an appointment.

Whitted hopes that this is the year the MoHS finds a permanent home. Currently, the MoHS pays the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands a month-to-month lease to use the property.

“This next fiscal year I really see us finding a forever home,” said Whitted. “That is something I’m really passionate about because that will also open us up to more funding … a lot of people won’t fund a program that operates month-to-month.”

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  1. So the Vet was hired as a full time Vet making 50,000, now he only works 4 hrs a day and he is making over double??!!! The ED was hired at 40,000, now she’s making 45,000 and complained about Tessa making so ,and she did more than all of themput together in that clinic. Disgusting people , that Shields lady is really in the dark about everythingI hope the new Board can straighten this mess out!

    • molokainews says:

      It appears that as of Aug. 1 the vets hours will be increasing, not decreasing. I’m not sure why you say he only is working 4 hours a day. Board meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center if you would like the new board to hear your complaints.

  2. K says:

    When off-island Vets were serving Molokai they were here far more often than once a week. Dr. LeeAn came every Monday and the other 5 Vets (Dr. Hollis, Dr. Shanna, Dr. Sterling, Dr. Brenda, Dr. Eileen) came for extended stays on other days of the week.

    • molokainews says:

      I am no defender or apologist for the MoHS, however, I know there were many weeks when a vet visited only once a week and some weeks when there was no vet at all. Now that the island has a full-time vet, he will be treating animals 5 days a week. Is this really something to complain about? Isn’t the increased service a good thing?

  3. DogsAreCoolerThanCats says:

    I’m super stoked we have a place to go that has a regular vet on a regular basis.

    That being said, it does not add up that the exec director is paid $45,000, simply to qualify for a $75,000 grant from Shields. On this island, that should be a full time salary, and the person in that position should be pulling in a lot more in grants than just the $75k and $100k in regular fundraising. In my experience, paid Executive Directors of non-profits usually generate 10 times their salary in revenues. On this basis, the position at MoHS should have a lower salary, or higher revenues and better success at securing funding.

    • Aunty Em says:

      The Society has a good year of scrupulous record keeping under its belt now. As it continues to prove its accountability to donors, grant funding will increase. Donors prefer stable organizations that can prove where the money goes. MoHS can finally do that with its bookkeeping and maybe soon with a permanent facility.

      As for fundraising, don’t forget that there was a lot in the way of donated goods and services acquired by the executive director–big stuff like the new container and smaller stuff like office and medical supplies. It all adds up.

      I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of the staff and those who volunteered to serve on the board of directors. It hasn’t been an easy job, and we thank you for it!

  4. J.VEGAS WONG says:

    THERE NEEDS TO BE TRANSPARENCY AT THE MHoS AND MORE COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEMBERS. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT SHORTER HOURS AND CALLING A MAUI CLINIC IN CASE OF EMERERCY IN THE PAST. TESSA WAS 24/7 AND COMMUNICATED WITH THE VISITING VETS AND THE COMMUNITY.THERE SEEM TO BE KNOW ONE TO HANDLE EMERGENCY CALLS ON MOLOKAI.

    I AM GLAD THE OLD BOARD IS GONE , NONE OF THEM WERE VOTED IN BY THE MEMBERS.

    THE CLINIC WAS SET UP TO PROVIDE SPAY AND NEUTER PROGRAM ON MOLOKAI PRIMARILY FOR MINIMAL COST TO OUR COMMNUITY. TO CONTROL THE OVER WANTED POPULATION OF FERAL ANIMALS AND TO EDUCATED THE PUBLIC.THE CLINIC WAS ALSO PUT ON HAWAIIAN HOMES LANDS TO KEEP THE RENT OF THE FACILITY AT A MINIMAL TO OUR COMMUNITY AND OFF THE GRID. HAVING VISITING VETS ALSO BEING ABLE TO DO SUGERIES WAS A PLUS.

    THE ANIMAL PEOPLE OF MOLOKAI KNOWS WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN THE PAST . WE NOW HAVE A NEW BOARD WHICH WAS VOTED IN BY THE MEMBERS. I HOPE THEY WILL HAVE THEIR MEETING IN THE EVENING SO MEMBERS CAN GO, NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. I HOPE AUDIT IS DONE TO SEE WHERE ALL THE MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT. STANDARD PRICES SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE CLINIC CONSISTENTLY. SOME OF THE NEW BOARD MEMBERS ARE LONGTIME RESIDENCE AND HAVE A BUSINESS BACKGROUND AND THAT IS A GOOD THING.

    IF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IS GETTING $45,000, THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY, AND PAYROLL IS $11,000 MONTHLY THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. AS FOR VET WHY IS HE BEING PAID $100,000.00 THAT DEFINITELY IS OUTRAGEOUS. WAS HE GETTING PAID THIS WHEN THERE WERE SHORTER HOURS? ARE THE VET TECHS LINCENSED AND TRAINED?

    IT IS GREAT TO HAVE ORGANIZATIONS DONATE MONEY TO THE MHoS , BUT NOT CONTROL THE MOLOKAI ORGANIZATION.

    I HOPE THE NEW BOARD CAN BRING POSITIVE ENERGY AND TRUST BACK TO THE MOLOKAI COMMUNITY.

  5. The BOTTEM LINE is we have new Board. And I hope this board will be transparent,honest and can get the confidence of the community back on track.I hope an audit of the past 2 years is done by a professional, meetings in the evening so more members can particpate and be a positve force with the community and its members.

    THANK YOU, THAT THIS BOARD WAS VOTED IN BY THE MEMBERS, NOT APPOINTED!

    This clinic was created to serve Molokai community for SPAY AND NEUTER PROGRAM, CUT DOWN ON UNWANTED FERAL ANIMALS AND TO EDUCATE OUR PUBLIC. One of the reasons it is on DHHL land was to keep the cost down and be off the grid.

    Having the visiting Vets did not cost as much as paying a full time Vet($100,000.00) a year on part-time hours and no contacts for EMERGENCIES ON ISLAND? Are the Vet techs have a license and educated in this field?

    Give money DONORS, with NO attachments and let the Molokai board do their job.

    Moving forward with new board with some long time residence is a good thing!

    Communication is a good thing too!

    Mahalo

    • Aunty Em says:

      “Off the grid” sounds wonderful until you have to buy gas to run the generator to compensate for a failing photo-voltaic system. Porta-potties aren’t free either. I’m sure it was a fine idea when it started, but why not move forward if you can, especially if it means higher quality, more consistent care for the animals?

      There is a procedure in place for emergencies. The office message machine is monitored in the off-hours by the vet and other staff. If someone has an emergency, they leave a message and the vet gets back to them.

      As for an audit, it costs thousands to have one done. Unless you intend to pay, that’s money better spent on low-cost spay/neuter, don’t you think? If you insist, I have no doubt that the last year’s records will be found complete and without error. The previous year? Well, I’d bet that there weren’t even enough records kept by the staff at that time to fairly evaluate. So think hard about how far you want to push that line of inquiry.

      The recently-retired board brought the Humane Society back from the brink of bankruptcy with the help of the Shields Foundation. Whatever else you may think of them, the clinic is operating today because of their efforts.

      I wish the new board nothing but the best as they take on their responsibilities. The well-being of Moloka’i’s animals depends on it.

  6. Keikiaina says:

    yes and new board who be transparent and honest and trustworthy

  7. An audit is required by Maui County is it not?$75,000.00 of taxpayers monies. Then no worries then if the books are all in order for audit.

    According to the 2009 By-Laws:G)The books and accounts of the Society shall be audited annually by a certified public accountant (CPA) selected by the Board unless the majority of all directors vote to replace the audit with a thorough examination of the financial records to take place in Executive Session before the annual meeting. After the examination, a majority of all directors must each certify that the books and accounts are correct. Unless the accuracy of the financial records is so guaranteed, the board shall arrange a CPA audit within thirty days. Did this procedure occur at the Annual meeting?

    An audit is good insurance for the new Board members and the members.

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