Tammy’s passion for serving her community these past 25 years through governmental agencies now extends to include providing and caring for K9's. Due to budget restraints, these beloved animals, with their love for service, dedication, and loyalty, are underutilized. They are an integral part of the protection, safety, and loyalty of the community. For these reasons, the Hawaii Island K9 Association was established. Tammy has dedicated herself not only to seek the funds to implement and enhance the underfunded utilization of K9’s throughout the island, but she has taken on the personal task of caring for a handicapped senior dog and a puppy in training to be a service animal. Tammy’s experience as a government agent equips her with the needed expertise to acquire the necessary funds to make these beneficial programs a success.
Cacique has been a resident of the Big Island for the past 15 years. He was raised between New Jersey and Maryland but as an adult has lived in Florida, Georgia, and Tennesee. Cacique spent the majority of his early adulthood in the private sector working in retail management. Upon moving to Hawaii, he began working as a Police officer and has done so for the past 14 years. He currently serves as the South Hilo District Representative for the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers. Cacique enjoys spending family time on his days off, and taking advantage of all this island has to offer. He loves motorcycle riding, basketball, swimming, and hiking. Over the years, he has fostered several dogs. Cacique knows firsthand how beneficial a strong and well-funded K-9 program can be to Law Enforcement.
Mercedes has called the Big Island home for over 20 years. She has a degree from Colorado State University in journalism and anthropology - ironic as she feels more comfortable around animals than people. When she’s not working as a custodian or at the running store, she’s spending her time training her two Labs, Sully and Benny. She affectionately calls her dogs Da Big Furiendly Giants and is often making cute social media posts about them to make other people smile. She believes that most dogs are freelance therapists disguised with fur and four paws.
Serving as one of our Volunteers is Kauanoe Jackson. As a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Hawai’i, she sees firsthand the need to support hardworking canines with necessary equipment and services. The health and happiness of our Island’s working canine is furthered by the care provided. Through her work, Kaua has seen these working canines in action in local courtrooms, in interviews with victims and witnesses of crimes, and in regular training. Raised here on the Big Island, she sees the benefits of canine programs for our local community.
Gary has worked in the non-profit affordable housing industry for more than 15 years. He has managed up to 40 affordable housing projects in California for the underserved. He currently is an employee of the County of Hawai`i Office of Housing & Community Development as the asset manager. Gary currently serves as a board member of the Palisades Estate in Kailua-Kona. Gary and his family have 2 rescued canines (Mila and Chloe). He enjoys spending his free time with his family and canines. Through his work, Gary has seen first hand how programs and budgets can fall short and need extra support.
Tara has called the Big Island home for nearly thirty years. She attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she earned her BA in Psychology and minored in Occupational Safety & Heath. Tara has worked in the mental health field for a total of seven years, where she currently provides case management services to our local severely mentally ill population. Tara has assisted one of our local canine rescue groups, Aloha Ilio Rescue, with distributing dog food donations to our local homeless and underprivileged population. Tara previously worked at the Hawaii County Police Department for nearly eight years first as a Police Dispatcher and then later a Police Records Clerk. Her passion is spending time with her family, canines, animal rescue and traveling.
Olivia was born and raised on the Island of Hawaii in rural Ka’u. Olivia graduated from Ka’u High School and Hawaii Community College. She has been working for the State of Hawaii government for the past 19 years; she currently now works at Hawaii County Parks & Recreation in the Elderly Activities Division. In 2018 during the lower Puna Eruption that rocked the Big Island, Olivia volunteered at the Emergency Evacuation Shelter for the Elderly which also became a Pet Friendly shelter. She loves and cares for three canines, two of which had been rescued.
Michael “Mike” moved to the Big Island in 2010. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Sciences from
Washington State University. Soon after arriving in Hawaii, Mike secured a job as an Animal Control
Officer with the Hawaii Island Humane Society. Mike stayed with the Humane Society for three years
before becoming a Hawaii County Police Officer, based out of Kona. Although Mike was working for the
Police Department, he remained active with the Humane Society by caretaking for their new, twelve-
acre parcel in Holualoa for five more years and volunteered for many of their fundraising events. Mike
remains employed by the Police Department and was recently promoted to Canine Handler in the
Vice Section. Mike has a passion for dogs and says he could not imagine life without them. He currently
lives with his fiancee, Julie and their three dogs; Sunshine, Theodore, and Boomer, as well as his four-
legged Vice partner. Mike and Julie joke that their house is really for the dogs and they just get to live
there, only because they feed them and have thumbs to open doors.
Hawaii Island K9 Association
is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.
Donations are tax deductible
As permitted Under IRS Regulations.
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