400 canines, birds and cats saved after shelter owner dies


POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

About 50 volunteers from Oahu and the mainland rescued nearly 400 dogs, cats and birds last weekend from a Waianae no-kill animal shelter in one of the largest operations of its kind in the state.

They set up an emergency shelter in Kalaeloa on Saturday and transferred animals Sunday from the Animal Haven, whose operator had died.

Although some animals had to be taken to veterinarians, they all had treatable conditions, according to Jennifer Kishimori, co-founder of the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Animal Haven, a nonprofit shelter that took in abandoned animals for 17 years, was created by Bonnie Pang, who died in her sleep July 13. Her death left her husband of 32 years to look after the dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks and chickens Pang had collected.

“;My wife had a very bad habit and an inability to say no,”; said Norman Pang. “;Sometimes people would take advantage of her, but her primary focus was to help the animals and make sure they had a place to stay.”;

Pang realized he would not be able to take care of the animals and handed them over to the Oahu Society.

“;I contemplated calling the (Hawaiian) Humane Society, but that was a last resort 'cause I know what would've happened to the animals,”; he said. “;They probably would've been all killed and thrown into the crematory.”;

The Hawaiian Humane Society filed charges against Bonnie Pang in 1995 for cruelty to animals, but she was acquitted, her husband said.

Most of the animals roamed on the 3.5-acre property, but some were housed in outdoor kennels, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which is not affiliated with the local organization.

“;It's impossible for one person to properly care for that number of animals,”; said Jordan Crump, a volunteer for the national humane society.

Several days after Bonnie Pang's death, Kishimori visited the property and found it “;overcrowded, unsanitary, and a range of animals were suffering from infections. I'm grateful that he called and gave them up.”;

;[Preview]    Waianae Shelter Rescue

Two animal protection groups detailed what they called the biggest animal rescue in Oahu's history.

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Kishimori called the Humane Society of the United States for help in handling, transporting and sheltering the animals.

About 15 trained volunteers from across the nation flew in Friday. Hunt Development loaned one of its abandoned warehouses to the Oahu Society for a shelter for several weeks, and Home Depot offered a discount on the kennel materials, Kishimori said.

Volunteers spent 12 hours Sunday transferring more than 100 dogs and more than 100 cats to Kalaeloa, and as of yesterday 200 birds remained on the property but were in the process of being moved.

The dogs include “;every size, age, breed and color, including mothers nursing puppies. Every hour they come out of their shells,”; said Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for the Humane Society of the United States, who called it one of the largest animal rescues in Hawaii.

Those interested in adopting the pets can go to and for adoption and foster applications. The Oahu Society is asking for donations, including pet food, litter and money for medical care.