Help Us Rescue


As with any new and exciting program there are questions that people are curious about. In an effort to answer some of those questions we have compiled a list of some of the more frequent topics people would like to know.

Question: Can an individual directly adopt an animal from BIDR?

Answer: With the success of BIDR’s mainland transfer program and the increasing demand for our wonderful Big Island Dogs, we have been getting requests from individuals to be able to adopt dogs directly from BIDR. While we had originally formulated a program to do just that, and outlined it on our initial website, (which caused some confusion about charges for transfer) we are still working to implement that program as time and resources permit. We are very excited about the direct adoption program, and once implemented, we will be able to feature multiple Cats and Dogs from island shelters and rescues on our site, where potential private adopters can select and “Face time” via the internet, with their potential pet. Then, after qualifying and passing a background check, adopt a pet from anywhere on the mainland! The costs for the mainland direct adoptions would be $650 for puppies and $500 for adult dogs/cats over 1 year of age. Those costs would include the adoption fees and background checks, crate, dish, bed, short term foster, if needed while flight details are arranged, health certificate, rabies and associated vaccinations, mainland processing, and transfer fees from Hawaii. Stay tuned for updates on this program!

Question: Can a Non Profit generate income?

Answer: Tax-exempt nonprofits like BIDR often make money as a result of their activities and use it to cover expenses. In fact, this income can be essential to an organization’s survival. As long as a nonprofit’s activities are associated with the nonprofit’s purpose, any profit made from them isn’t taxable.

Question: Can a nonprofit pay its staff?

Answer: Yes. State law (which governs a nonprofit corporation) and the IRS (which governs tax-exempt status) allow a nonprofit to pay reasonable salaries to officers, employees or agents, for services rendered to further the nonprofit corporation’s tax-exempt purposes and mission.

Question: Are the services that are offered through a nonprofit required to be free?

Answer: No. 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are not required to offer services or products free, or at cost. Many nonprofits support themselves partially by charging for services or products, but at a rate that does not completely cover their costs. That shortfall is many times covered by other donations and fundraising activities. BIDR relies on its many wonderful donors to be able to continue saving animals.

Question: Can paid staff members serve on a nonprofit’s board?

Answer: Generally, it is not a good idea to have a paid staff member on the board and may even be limited by a state’s nonprofit laws. The chief reason staff do not usually serve on a nonprofit’s board is risk of a conflict of interest. That said, some nonprofits have at least one staff member on their boards, especially in small nonprofits where the founder might also be on the board. Currently all BIDR board members are not paid staff members.

Question: Do 501(c3) non-profit corporations have to make their financial statements and other documents available to the public?

Answer: Yes. Non-profit corporations must submit their financial statements to the IRS on Form 990. Both the IRS and the non-profit corporation are required to disclose the information as filed on the IRS Form 990 to the public. This means that non-profits must make those records available for public inspection. BIDR will file its first 990 with the IRS in 2016 and make it available on this website after filing, as required by law. In addition, Articles of Incorporation and certain other corporate documents are also public and can be obtained upon formal request.

Question: Who serves on BIDR’s Board of Directors, and is that public information?

Answer: While the individuals that serve on the Board of Directors are listed in the filings of the required IRS documents annually, it is BIDR’s policy to list them on this website. As with any company its board of directors may change and expand over time in response to the varying needs and expertise BIDR deems most appropriate in the fulfillment of its mission statement. As of 9/1/15 the current ED and Board members are:

Thad T. Smith- Board President

Scott Burge – Director

Tasi Autele – Executive Director

Patricia Autele – Director

Question: I can’t seem to locate BIDR on the Non Profit Company listings?

Answer: BIDR is registered with the State of Hawaii as a Non Profit Corporation in good standing as of January 2015 and has a current IRS tax exempt 501c3 status under the listing of: Second Chance Foundation dba Big Island Dog Rescue

Question: How do you know that these animals are being adopted into loving homes and not used for other cruel purposes?

Answer: BIDR was founded for the purpose of eliminating the needless high kill rate of adoptable and treatable dogs that the Hawaii Island Humane Society has experienced for decades. When BIDR founders discovered there had been no significant change in the deplorable euthanasia rate in the last 10 years, and no program in place to significantly reduce euthanasia, BIDR was formed and began reaching out to the gold standard, high adoption rate shelters on the mainland’s Pacific Northwest. These shelters boast a no kill, high adoption rate (98% live release) and have top notch veterinary staff, animal behaviorists, state of the art facilities and most importantly, have stringent adoption criteria and are in communities that take animal adoption and well-being to a whole new, higher level. BIDR founders not only come from these states but have personally traveled to and vetted each facility. But the numbers speak for themselves. On the Big Island, 74% of adoptable and treatable dogs are needlessly destroyed each year. By comparison, the gold standard shelters in the Pacific Northwest have only a 2% euthanasia rate so every animal coming through their doors has a 98% chance of being adopted into its forever home!

Question: Are any BIDR transferred dogs going into the Hannah Society program on the mainland?

Answer: To date, no BIDR animals have been enrolled into the Hannah program. The Hannah Societies program is unique, and what some feel, is a controversial program model where Hannah provides for all the care and associated costs relating to the pet you choose from their adoption base, but Hannah retains legal ownership of the animal. While there are seemingly some very positive things to obtaining a pet from the Hannah Society, some critics feel that it promotes a “rent a pet” type of mentality. BIDR has looked into the program and believes more research and vetting is needed. For the foreseeable future BIDR has designated that no transferred pet will be adopted into the Hannah program. Those understandings had also been put in place by BIDR with our receiving shelter partners to ensure all BIDR animals transferred to those mainland shelters will go directly through private family adoptions into loving forever homes, regardless of whether the shelter also provides the Hannah Society with pets for its adoption programs. To clarify, no animals that BIDR has transferred to the mainland have gone into the Hannah program.

Question: I see different costs associated with transferring dogs to the mainland, what are the associated fees and why do they differ in some cases?

Answer: There can be many variables that come into play in transferring an animal to our mainland shelter partners. Costs for cargo shipping versus companion accompanied travel, the animal’s weight, how many animals are being sent on the same carrier at the same time, travel expenses of fuel, receiving partner logistics and costs of ground transport, temporary foster care while awaiting transfer, prepping the animal to ensure safe travel, airline imposed shipping embargos which can increase costs, staff time and resources etc. BIDR has negotiated special rates and services that may or may not be applicable during a particular flight schedule. BIDR is also not paid any amount by the receiving shelters on the mainland for the transferred animals. Generally, the costs associated with transferring an animal to our high adoption shelter partners can range from $150 – $450 generally. Regardless of that variable, the standard sponsorship donation sought per animal awaiting transfer is $250. If any particular animals transfer fees are less than that sponsorship fee, then any excess is applied to the next animals transfer, or overhead. 100% of all monies by way of sponsorship fees and/or donations go directly to fulfilling BIDR’s mission statement of ending the needless euthanasia of adoptable and treatable animals on the Big Island.

Question: BIDR’s transfer program is very successful. Why hasn’t the Hawaii Island Humane Society already begun a program like it?

Answer: That is a good question and one BIDR and others have asked HIHS several times. Shelters located on other Hawaiian islands have started similar programs with success and have been shipping their wonderful Hawaiian dogs to the mainland for over 4 years. We can only speculate why the HIHS doesn’t yet have a program like this, but BIDR is glad that we could set up this successful program and provide the thousands “adoptable” and “treatable” animals that are needlessly euthanized every year in the HIHS facilities at least the hope of finding a loving forever home on the mainland through our exclusive program.

Question: Does BIDR provide Spay and Neuter services?

Answer: BIDR is a strong supporter of spay and neuter programs to stem the tide of unwanted animals everywhere. To that end, BIDR verifies that all animals that it transfers off the Island to its shelter partners on the mainland are spayed or neutered prior to going to their forever homes. BIDR does not however provide S&N services directly. If you are interested in having your animal spayed or neutered we can direct you to many programs that provide for low cost, and in many cases free S&N clinics and services.

Question: Does BIDR receive any state or government funding?

Answer: No. All of the services that BIDR provides are funded solely through sponsorship fees and the gracious donations of caring individuals concerned about the needless euthanasia of adoptable and treatable animals on the Island of Hawaii.

Question: I have seen articles and comments that BIDR has been critical of the Hawaii Island Humane Societies policies and practices. What is all that about?

Answer: BIDR will always be the outspoken voice for the thousands of animals needlessly euthanized in HIHS facilities every year. We have been openly critical of HIHS management and board of directors’ implemented policies. We do not find any fault with the many shelter staff who work tirelessly in an attempt to help the animals that find themselves there. The truth of the matter lies with the outdated policies that management continues to abide by. The fact is that out of the 15,000+ animals that came into their facilities in FY2015, over 10,000 were destroyed! It is one of the nation’s highest euthanasia rates and has been for many years. That fact is a black mark on our Hawaii Island communities and culture.

HIHS continues to be provided Hawaii County contracts in excess of 2 million dollars annually, yet HIHS directors and management have done little to improve the horrible statistic over the last 8 years. Shelter models have been brought to HIHS management’s attention that can completely transform those statistics into positive outcomes, cost less, and have been implemented in other parts of the country to great success. Instead of openly accepting help and adopting those mainland programs, HIHS has continued down its outdated path and policies and has not been transparent with the community they serve, and receive taxpayer dollars from, in regards to the magnitude of the problem and their failure to improve and solve it.

The overpopulation of unwanted pets and animals, and the extremely high unneeded euthanasia rates on the Island, are a community problem, and one that HIHS has not brought to the attention of the caring people of Hawaii. It is an issue that will only be solved through progressive shelter models and management, transparency by HIHS as to its statistics, and community oversight to provide for compliance and accountability that HIHS must adhere to.

BIDR will continue to shine the light on this problem until it is solved. Because every day, healthy adoptable pets are being needlessly destroyed at HIHS facilities, and taxpayer dollars are being wasted on outdated policies that once changed, could be allocated to other programs helping our community.

If you are interested in knowing more details of these issues, please click the link entitled “Analysis of HIHS Issues” for a more facts and statistics. As new updates occur about what is being done to rectify these Hawaii Island issues, we will them post on this website.

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