Greater Good Charities Bring the Good Fix Program to Kauai

Submitted by Leilani Sim-Godbehere, DVM

Greater Good Charities will be offering a gift to our Kauai community through their Good Fix program. This is one of the charities that was instrumental in the Paws Across the Pacific program in Oct. 2020 when over 600 shelter animals were flown from the main Hawaiian islands to the U.S. mainland for adoption.

The Good Fix program will establish a humane mass trap-neuter-release program targeting the free-roaming cat overpopulation problem on Kauai. Some owned cats will also be included in the totals. Good Fix will work with local volunteers and will also deploy a team of specialized trappers throughout the island to maximize the number of cats sterilized. The program will encompass dual licensed HQHVSN (High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter) vets and MASH style experts to complete the work. The goal is to sterilize 15,000 cats over the year in 6 rounds. Sterilized cats will also be microchipped and FVRCP vaccinated. Dates are set for Oct 3-8 & 11-16, 2021; Jan 23-28, 2022; Jan 31-Feb 5, Mar 27-Apr 1 & Apr 4-9, 2022.

Besides public outreach, Greater Good Charities is inviting our veterinary community to learn more and participate in their program! Vets/techs interested in participating can contact the veterinary medical director of Greater Good Charities, Dr. Ruth Parkin, at for an application. It is all volunteer work, but travel and accommodations for the medical team members who commit to an entire clinic session would be covered. Any non-medical persons interested in helping with trapping or other volunteer aspects can also contact Dr. Ruth Parkin. Participating vets will also be offered $150 vouchers to offset cost of dog spays for clients who might benefit from the financial support.

There is a plan in progress to address relocation of cats in certain wildlife/bird sensitive areas. It may become part of a “farm/barn-cat” program. The team is aware that this topic is high priority. The team is also aware of the Toxoplasma issues on island and will be including educational information on their community outreach to encourage the public about the importance of controlling overall free-roaming cat numbers.

Dr. Ruth Parkin and Dr. Julie Levy made a productive initial visit to Kauai on June 22 and 23,2021 for a site visit and to meet with local veterinarians and groups involved with animal welfare. They were delighted at the warm welcome they received and they look forward to working for the benefit of Kauai and hopefully our sister islands as well.

Legislative Update

New animal laws enacted in 2021:

Act 31 – Establishes the crime of sexual assault of an animal. Standard veterinary, animal husbandry, and conformation judging practices are exempt. Effective June 7, 2021.

Act 91 – Protects veterinarians from civil liability for rendering emergency aid to an animal, even if an owner is not available to consent to care. Requires veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty or the injury or death of an animal as part of a staged fight. Protects veterinarians from civil liability for making such reports. Effective June 25, 2021.

Act 182 – Bans the unsupervised tethering of a dog under the age of six months. Bans tethering in a configuration that endangers the dog. Bans the use of tow or log chains to tether a dog. Effective July 6, 2021.

Act 5, Special Session – Requires dog and cat owners to have microchip identification implanted in their dogs and cats, and to register the microchip number and the owner’s contact information with a microchip registration company. Requires animal organizations to implant a microchip in all stray dogs and cats in their custody that do not have microchip identification. Effective January 1, 2022.

Meet a Board Member – David Gans

David Gans, DVM
Vice President

David had an epiphany as a young child that he would become the world’s first ANIMAL DOCTOR, pioneering a new field and contributing a new found profession to the world. Much to his dismay, he was informed of the veterinary field and settled for that. He was born and raised in Hawaii, and after obtaining his DVM at Colorado State University in 2018, returned to the islands to work at Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic, where he has been ever since. 

Along with his girlfriend Jayeon, he has been slowly building up their home zoo of rescues and their COVID garden. They have two cats Amaru and Dotori, a red footed tortoise, and recently a couple ducklings. They also enjoy hiking, surfing, and other outdoor activities.

David looks forward to expanding his knowledge and experience in general practice. He is especially interested in gaining more training with exotics and expanding his abilities in rehabilitation work. 

In Remembrance – Eric Jayne

Eric Jayne, DVM, worked with Cat Friends, Molokai Humane Society, and the Hawaiian Humane Society, served as the Hawaii HSVMA representative, and was due back in the islands later this summer. He was with his partner Sally visiting their dear friend, Dr. Lori Gossard, in North Dakota when a semi truck hit their car from behind. Eric was killed instantly. He was a great man, an adoring husband, and doting father. He was tireless and committed to improving human and animal lives. His impact was felt by many, and will continue to be.

Sally plans to keep their non-profit, Sovereign Nations Veterinary, fully running and contributing back to the indigenous communities they serve. A celebration of life service for Eric was held in Des Moines, and a prayer vigil in his memory at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe reservation. His family started a go-fund-me page to help continue his work at

Panleukopenia Cases

Submitted by Kasey Carter, DVM

The Hawaii Cat Café (a Hawaiian Humane Society offsite adoption partner) closed to the public for two weeks starting Tuesday, July 27 due to a confirmed case of panleukopenia.  The Hawaii Cat Café has dedicated their space for the next two weeks to quarantine & monitor cats who were potentially exposed.  They are working closely with the Hawaiian Humane Society veterinary team to deliver diagnostics and care as needed.  Over thirty cats have been adopted from Hawaii Cat Café over the last two weeks – these adopters have been contacted to inform them of the panleukopenia exposure and have been offered a physical exam and vaccination through our Veterinary Services department.
To date, we have no additional confirmed cases in our cat population, which includes our other partners.  Our vaccine protocols include vaccination of all animals on intake, vaccination of kittens/puppies between 4-18 weeks every two weeks while in our care, and to vaccinate dogs and cats >18 weeks twice (if they are in our care at least 2 weeks).

If you have any questions or concerns or see any suspect/positive panleukopenia cases, please reach out directly to Dr. Carter at

Thank you!

Letter from the President – July 2021

Alfred Mina, DVM
HVMA President

We are half way through 2021.  The HVMA Executive Board continues to work on improving veterinary services in the islands. There is still an increasing need for veterinary specialists as well as general practitioners, and we look forward to working with DVMs from the class of 2021 and others that want to relocate to Hawai’i . If you know of any new graduates from Hawai’i or those thinking of relocating here feel free to contact the HVMA for support.

Thank you to those who continue to support HVMA.  A lot of this is done through membership dues. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, please feel free to follow the link.

Please don’t forget to check in on our online CE provided by HVMA.  Let us know if there are any specific topics that we can look into for future presentations.

It is hurricane season, so be prepared and make sure you have a natural disaster kit, including food and medical supplies, for your pets.

Please continue to stay safe with the Covid Delta variant during this pandemic and hope to see you all soon!

Alfred J. Mina, DVM

In Remembrance – Trevor Leo Rodrigues

Dr. Trevor Leo Rodrigues, 64, of Papaikou, HI, died at the Hilo Medical Center on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. He was born in Tanzania and was the owner of  Aloha Veterinary Center. He was also a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, and the Makule Soccer League.

A compassionate and caring man who was always willing to help anyone who walked through the clinic door, he was admired for his selflessness, love of animals, and dedication to using his knowledge and understanding to help the community. His passing is a great loss for his family, friends and the veterinary community, and he will be deeply missed.

Private family services were held.

He is survived by his wife Colleen Rodrigues of Papaikou, HI, sons Jensen (Clarice) Rodrigues of Oahu, and Shea (Chaunda) Rodrigues of Hilo, HI, step-daughters Tiana (Dylan) Magdaro of Keaau, HI, and Kaylee Magdaro of Papaikou, HI, as well as brothers Kevin (Regina) Rodrigues of Kona, HI, Clarence (Keiko) Rodrigues of Kaneohe, Oahu, HI. He is also survived by four grandchildren, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and a nephew.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

Delve into the latest research on suicide and its causes in this conversation on veterinary mental health with experts from the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Learn strategies to promote mental health, prevent suicide, and intervene in a mental health crisis. Come away knowing individual and community risk and protective factors, get guidance on mental health crisis warning signs, and learn how to get help for someone in crisis – vital steps in building healthy communities and supporting our colleagues and peers. A culture of caring offers help and hope to its members—and we all can play a role in building that community.
View webinar here

Meet a Board Member: Caren Tamura-Taira

Caren Tamura-Taira, DVM
Oahu County Representative

Dr. Caren Tamura-Taira grew up on the beautiful countryside of Waianae, Hawaii. From a young age she loved animals and had fishes, rabbits, cats, a pet chicken that was hatched from an egg at school, and “Chummy” her first dog.

After graduating from Mid-Pacific Institute in 1983, Caren did her undergraduate years majoring in microbiology at Colorado State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree at Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science in 1990.

Soon after completing college, she came back to Hawaii to start her dream career as a small animal medicine veterinarian. Caren is currently practicing at the Waipio Pet Clinic and previously was at the Animal Clinic Waimalu for many years.

She enjoys spending time with her family and dog Simba. Whenever there is free time she also enjoys crafting, cooking, hiking and now running in virtual marathons. This is her first year on the HVMA board and she is honored to be a part of the organization. She looks forward to working hard and collaborating with the other members and the veterinary community.

Letter from the President – April 2021

Alfred Mina, DVM
HVMA President

The HVMA Executive Board continues to work on improving veterinary services in the islands. There has been an increasing need for veterinary specialists as well as general practitioners, and we look forward to working with soon-to-be-DVMs from the class of 2021. If you know of any students from Hawai’i or those thinking of relocating here, feel free to contact the HVMA for support.

Thank you to those who continue to support HVMA. A lot of this is done through membership dues and volunteer effort. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, please feel free to do so here. Please continue to stay safe during this pandemic and hope to see you all soon!

Alfred J. Mina, DVM