Hawaii Island Humane Society searching for new executive director

  • Hawaii Island Humane Society Executive Director Donna Whitaker, left, speaks before the County Council in March 2017. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The Hawaii Island Humane Society is in search of a new executive director following Donna Whitaker’s departure from the position in November.

Whitaker, who headed the humane society for nearly a decade, “stepped down” from the executive director position effective Nov. 19, Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) Board of Directors Chairman Adam Atwood confirmed via email.


“Donna Whitaker has served the animal community on Hawaii Island for many years and we appreciate Donna’s contributions and thank her for her commitment to the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s mission to prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation and to enhance the bond between humans and animals. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” Atwood said in a prepared statement.

No disruption in services including spay and neuter, animal control and adoptions at the Keaau, Waimea and Kona shelters is expected in the wake of Whitaker’s departure.


The board has initiated its search process for a new executive director. In the interim, Atwood is filling in as executive director on a temporary basis until a new executive director is hired.

Whitaker, who was unable to be reached Tuesday afternoon, took the top spot at the Hawaii Island Humane Society in January 2009, after being selected by society’s board of directors in December 2008. Her goals, as told to West Hawaii Today shortly after assuming the position, were to improve the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s shelters, image and online presence.

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