Officers make effort to remove chickens at Kealakehe Police Station

  • Chickens and roosters make themselves at home at the Kona Police Station. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — On any given day, people walking into the Hawaii Police station on Hale Makai Place are greeted by roosters and strutting chickens.

Police say the population has grown to at least 50 chickens and has been an increasing problem for the past two years. However, officers and staff at the Kealakehe station have been working on a plan to reclaim their property and remove the birds as their presence has become annoying.

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Sgt. Roylen Valera with community policing said the chickens are a nuisance and — aside from being messy — they are a health hazard outside the station.

“They actually fly up on people’s cars and scratch cars,” Valera said. “And if that isn’t enough, they lay eggs on the cars.”

People walking up to the police department take a zigzag path to avoid chicken feces.

While it can start to smell like a chicken coop walking to the front door of the police station, staff does what they can to minimize the mess by spraying the walkway down and shooing the chickens from the path in the mornings.

Officers have also been finding ways to evict the birds from the property.

About a month ago, Valera said he reached out to the Hawaii Island Humane Society, which is across the street from the station, to inquire about traps. At the time, he was told there were none available. When one did become available, he was informed he could use it for a fee.

Valera said officers put their own trap out about a week ago and in that time they’ve caught about three unintentionally.

Valera said officers aren’t outside actively attempting to round them up and the extra duty isn’t preventing officers from their full-time jobs, protecting and serving the public.

“It’s not like we’re doing surveillance,” he said. “Because it’s not a priority, it is what it is at this point.”

Donna Whitaker, humane society executive director, confirmed police contacted the Kona shelter manager about the feral chickens at the station.

A deposit for a trap is $75. Since traps are expensive, the humane society takes a deposit with some assurance that it will be returned.

Once the trap is brought back, the money is refunded. Whitaker said the deposit is never cashed.

Whitaker thinks the increase of chickens has something to do with people coming to Hale Makai Place and dropping them off. She also suspects chicks hatching.

Whitaker suggests those with a chicken problem come get traps. Once the chickens are caught, bring them back to the shelter.

“We can adopt them out, that’s the most humane way,” she said.

Police say there is also a problem with feral cats hanging around the station.

Maj. Robert Wagner said there are chicken and cat feces everywhere.

“Cats favorite spot to use the bathroom is more on the left side of the station by the flag pole,” Wagner said. “All that gravel is like their litter box.”

Police think the regular feeding of the feral cats by an Advocats volunteer in the evenings has a direct correlation with the numbers of the chicken population. However, the volunteer would disagree.

Liz Swan has been feeding the feral cat colony on Hale Makai Street for 28 years. She said what most people don’t understand is the Advocats aren’t just out there to feed the cats. The nonprofit is out there to trap, neuter and release to keep the population of cats down.

The feeding and watering of cats also allows volunteers to check the general health of the animals and see if there are any new additions to the group.

Swan said the number of cats on Hale Makai Place can fluctuate because it is also a dumping ground for felines. However, she believes the colony size has remained fairly consistent.

She did agree the chicken population has boomed, but not because of the feeding.

“We don’t see baby chicks here,” Swan said. “The reason they’re all adults is because people dump them.”

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Swan said there are other solutions to things and suggests that the humane society and police department work together to find a way to reduce the chicken population on Hale Makai Place.

The nightly feeding not only draws chickens and cats. It also brings out pigs and at times goats.

  1. KonaRich April 18, 2018 5:56 am

    There must be a market for Organic free range chicken out there somewhere.


  2. Chickie Galore April 18, 2018 6:50 am

    Kill the cats!


  3. OLDWOLFE April 18, 2018 7:53 am

    You have goats,chickens,pigs, dogs, mongoose,rats,fire ants,coqui frogs, fungus and stupid mean people but you want to kill the cats? TNRM works if you get up and do it. That woman does her best to feed and trap as many cats as she can every day. What are you doing?


    1. KonaLife April 18, 2018 9:55 am

      IF trap-neuter-release-?? (TNRM) works, why hasn’t the feral cat population decreased? If it were effective, we should see a dramatic decrease in the feral cat population, but we haven’t.

      I suspect the Advocats people have no desire to decrease the feral cat population, despite abundant evidence on this island and others, that the feral cats are a danger to native species and fauna, as well as vectors for toxoplasmosis, a very serious human parasite infection that comes from cat feces.

      Do the Advocats do cat feces clean-ups? Just wondering, since they are responsible for a huge amount of cat feces where they feed the feral cats.


      1. OLDWOLFE April 18, 2018 10:47 am

        In many places it has worked and fewer kittens born. Many years ago the HIHS bragged about about killing over 10,000 cats in one year yet the numbers didn’t go down until Advocats started in 1999. Last year they killed 3524. Yes Advocats whole purpose is to make LESS cats in a humane way! TNRM works if you do it!
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/227f0c867927585342bea03aa565eeb63083b05c43827ed0cb006b4d5ed4d600.jpg


        1. KonaLife April 18, 2018 11:13 am

          You have not shown that the feral cat population has decreased. If your program worked, the feral cat population would be dramatically declining and soon approaching near zero levels, but there is no evidence it is. The dump colony, the Old A colony, the Denny’s colony and the Old Borders colony seem to be as big as ever. These should be decreasing or disappearing if it worked.

          In 20 years of Advocats’ existence, we have seen no effective decrease in feral cat populations. It’s not working.

          Do the Advocats have regular cat feces cleanups at the sites they feed cats?

          It’s the cat feces that is incredibly dangerous to our monk seals, Nene and Alala (Hawaii crow), as well as pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. Add to that the predation of bird species and it’s easy to see why feral cats are rated as the “most harmful invasive species globally” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


          1. Denise T April 18, 2018 3:10 pm

            Sorry, but you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about! Cats aren’t dangerous to monk seals or dolphins or pregnant women unless they play with cat poop and then lick their fingers! Most cats live inland, not on the beach so don’t see how they impact sea life. As far Advocats impact on population of feral cats, I have heard from MANY tourists whom have noticed the major decline in the amount of feral kitties! And in case you know nothing about cats habits, they are fastidious about covering their poop! I have NEVER seen or smelled poop where my cats live! And last but not least, if people would just FIX THEIR CATS there would be a radical decline in cats on this island. This is a human caused problem!!!


          2. KonaLife April 18, 2018 4:00 pm

            The DLNR, NOAA, the International Union for the Conservation o Nature, and many, many peer-reviewed scientific studies say you’re 100% wrong.

            You can give your opinion and come up with several self-serving justifications but the facts are that feral cats are very bad for Hawaii’s endemic and other wildlife. I’ll stick with the research instead of your made up ideas –“lick their fingers”

            Here’s a NOAA study, “A Cat-astrophic Threat for Seals – How Toxoplasma gondii makes its way from mountain to ocean”

            Feral cats’ feces doesn’t make it to the ocean? Read the above study.

            Medina et al. 2011 – A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates

            Feral cats don’t harm endangered species? Read the above study.

            Feral cats are listed as the “most harmful invasive species globally” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

            Feral cats kill 2.4 billion birds in the U.S. yearly.

            Wonder why we see few birds at lower elevations? See above. And yes, I have seen feral cats kill birds in Kona.

            Predation of our bird species is one thing, but the cat feces is just plain dangerous to our environment.

            So, I’ve asked several times, and I’ll ask again,

            Do the Avocats regularly clean up the cat feces at their feeding sites?

            Don’t give the BS excuse that the cats bury their feces in the lava rock. Just not feasible!

            Yes, it is a human problem, but after 20 years of Avocats’ existence, we have seen very little decrease in the feral cat population, and if T/N release worked, we’d see very few feral cats. It’s not working; we need to admit that and have sensible plans to protect Hawaii’s ecosystems.


          3. KonaLife April 18, 2018 4:54 pm

            All the research says your wrong. Look up “hawaii feral cats” and go to the DLNR Invasive Species Council Website. There are several studies cited there that show that, yes, cat feces does reach our oceans and beaches, and yes, it is potentially very harmful to our endangered monk seal population, as well as our Nene, Alala and other native species.

            And, yes, there is pounds and pounds of cat feces to be seen in the lava fields at Old A and the dump. The police officer in this news story even confirms that the cats don’t bury their feces; it’s right in the plant boxes at the police station. This feces is concentrated because of the cat feeders’ actions and unwillingness to fix the problem they are creating.

            Do the Avocats ever schedule regular cat feces clean ups in the public land they use for maintaining “their” colonies? How about in the neighborhoods where “their” colonies defecate in gardens, flower boxes and yards? Funny how this question has not been answered.

            Again if T/N worked, we’d have very few feral cats. I’d guess the lifespan of a feral cats in fairly short, maybe 3-5 years at most, so if the Avocats S/N program worked we’d see almost no feral cats after their 20 years of work.

            It hasn’t worked to decrease the feral cat population, and we need to admit that.


          4. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 6:58 am

            You are uninformed or ignorant. What Denise T states is true. Kitties. They are not kitties, they are nasty, disease ridden, killers who crap everywhere. (Not to be confused with the homeless, of course).


      2. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 6:52 am

        You are correct. Cats and mongoose are the plague. There was a study that showed after 20 years with TNRM, the difference was a marginal 6-10% reduction in colonies. But when they modeled capture and eradication, that produced a reduction of around 90 percent of colonies in the area within 24 months. No brainer. Maybe we can start TNRM on the mongoose? (sarc).


        1. KonaLife April 19, 2018 7:40 am

          Funny how we can identify the failure of the TNRM approach, yet we still see the Avocats feeding colonies of feral cats. They have been around 20 years and we’ve seen no effective decrease in feral cats, so they have failed! Or have, they? Perhaps their goal was never to decrease the feral cat population???? Perhaps they want to have “their” colonies in public spaces and neighborhoods, and damn the environment, the comfort of their neighbors, and endangered species. I’d love to see a group of true environmentalists start a capture and eradicate program. Like you note, in a short time, the problem would be solved.


    2. JJ McKibbin April 19, 2018 2:04 am

      “TNRM works… ”

      You can’t possibly be serious. Can you even make that statement with a straight face? From the article:

      “Liz Swan has been feeding the feral cat colony on Hale Makai Street for 28 years. She said what most people don’t understand is the Advocats aren’t just out there to feed the cats. The nonprofit is out there to trap, neuter and release to keep the population of cats down.”

      28 YEARS!! TNR is NOT working. No cat there today was alive 28 years ago. TNR is a failure, at the police station and everywhere else. Just remove the cats and the chickens. Good grief.


    3. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 6:48 am

      feeding feral cats is stupid. It does not work and as the sign on Mauna Kea states, 73 percent of the people in Hawaii WANT cats eradicated. But the crazy 27% cat people have us all hostage. And you are right, mongoose and goats should both be culled. and BTW, I TRAP, what do you do?


      1. Pest Outwest April 19, 2018 7:21 am

        There’s not much you can do about the cinnamon rats, Mongooses are here to stay, there’s just too many of them. They don’t do that much harm, they’re a positive evolutionary force on birds, weeding out the weak and stupid. Unless you notice any drop in the population of mynas, finches, cardinals or even dumbass doves, apparently birds can deal with that kind of predator.

        For birds that can’t adapt, and lay their eggs on the ground as if there were no threats, what can I say? Adapt or die, that’s nature’s way. Good DNA always wins out in the end. Except among humans, apparently.


        1. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 9:51 am

          Are you for real? We live on an island and there were NO MAMMALS. Adapt? Maybe you should pick up a book about islands, birds, maybe anything. What ignorant, self centered human waste you are.


  4. Mac Attack April 18, 2018 7:54 am

    Working on a plan? Well that’s rich. How about this, 50 bucks at Walmart for a pellet gun, can of pellets, and a bottle of bbq sauce. Solution work great in my neighborhood. Birds were a little lean. Not like store bought.

    Nope, gotta work on a plan, get a study on the plans implementation, hired extra security for the vegan protesters, environmental impact study and four permits.

    Cost of 50 chickens to be removed? $297,462.42

    Working on a plan, gheez, I wonder if they even hear themselves when they talk.


    1. Pest Outwest April 18, 2018 10:08 am

      Well, you could stew them in a slow cooker, but that sounds like the correct solution. The chickens will avoid the area when they know it’s a danger to be there, they’re not as stupid as they seem (close). Nail them and keep nailing them.


  5. kreeper April 18, 2018 9:01 am

    I’d rent my dog out for bird control for cheaper than a trap rental. She’s really good and is in it for the chase, not the kill.

    Or, better yet, work with the humane society to locate a suitable shepherd or collie and adopt it as the station’s vermin officer.


  6. Vfaye April 18, 2018 9:46 am

    Then they will have a roach problem! WHose gonna eat all the bugs? LOL The mongoose keep the eggs!


  7. Down with Democrats April 18, 2018 10:35 am

    As usual, these chickens have been there for how many decades? And all of a sudden they are an issue. But yes, they need a plan. You know, like having a back up plan, or not, for when all of your water wells fail. Or better yet, a plan to deal with the hundreds of mentally ill, and/or drug addicted homeless who build tent city’s everywhere, and/or roam the streets 24/7. Remember these are Democrat libtards we are talking about.
    However, as far as the chickens are concerned, if anyone were inclined to do so, a call to PETA would be, how do I say it? HILARIOUS! But as you stated, it would cost money for OT for the PD to keep the protesters in check.
    Oh well, moving on to the next stupid idea for the big island.


  8. metalman808 April 18, 2018 12:35 pm

    Look on the bright side. We could become ROOSTER ISLAND. Er Er Errrrrrrrrrrr!


  9. KonaRich April 18, 2018 3:16 pm

    Another though for the Rooster problem (they are a problem when they wake you up at 4am) with village 9 in the works, and it will happen, a chicken in every pot along with your igloo. May help with the feeding of the homeless. Think positive.


    1. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 6:54 am

      so are harley davidsons and we cant shoot them.


  10. Buds4All April 18, 2018 5:53 pm

    HEY city…………..how about finishing the fucking road in lieu of worrying about a few damn chickens!


    1. Chickie Galore April 19, 2018 6:53 am

      Thumbs up! Or the police could do some policing.


  11. Eatit April 19, 2018 3:29 am

    Eat them!


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