Our Islands, Our Future

An animal lover, Jenny Mida volunteers at the Maui Humane Society. She walks dogs, bakes dog treats for fundraisers and helps educate the public about pet adoption and the importance of spaying and neutering dogs and cats. “My motivation for doing these things is that I love all animals, and I want to do whatever I can to improve their lives and well being,” said Mida, an educational assistant at King Kekaulike High School.

The Kula resident is married and has a son, and her extended family includes three dogs – Kalea, a French mastiff; Thor, a pitbull mix; and Bernardo, an Airedale terrier. Pets can be healthy and happy if they’re made part of the family, she said. “A life lived on a chain outside is a life of misery. Play with, walk and socialize your pet with people and animals when they are growing up so they are comfortable around everyone.” When she volunteers at the Puunene shelter, Mida takes her son with her. “I think it’s important for kids to learn to care for and love all creatures, so I bring Zander along,” she said. “This is probably my favorite thing to do because the dogs are so appreciative and it’s fun to play, snuggle and get to know each dog individually. I take pictures of the dogs during our walks that I post on Instagram and Facebook with info in hopes someone will see one (or two) and they just have to adopt.”

She urges all dog and cat owners to sterilize their pets to help stop the island’s population explosion of unwanted, feral animals. The Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Maui offer discounted spays and neuters. “It just takes one call to set up an appointment,” she said. “Spays and neuters also can decrease unwanted behaviors and reduce the risk of certain cancers.” Armed with the mission to save the lives of unwanted pets, the Humane Society has been operating as an animal shelter since 1987. For more information, call 877-3680, ext. 14, or e-mail: