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HIHS names Ackerman as new Humane Educator


Barbara “Bebe” Ackerman has been promoted as Humane Educator for the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

As Humane Educator, she will be responsible for integrating a broad spectrum of educational-based programs in to the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s operations and continuing with her volunteer coordinator responsibilities as well.

Ackerman began with HIHS as dispatcher and volunteer coordinator. 

“We are so thrilled to have Bebe in the role of Humane Educator,” said Donna Whitaker, executive director of the Hawaii Island Humane Society. “She has the ideal personality and background to further develop this important aspect of our mission, enhancing the relationship between humans and animals.”

HIHS Programs under Ackerman’s guidance include Animal Ed-Ventures day camps that include activities with opportunities for children to interact with shelter animals.

Junior Pals is an opportunity for anyone under the age of 16 to volunteer at an HIHS shelter in Kona, Waimea or Keaau. A six-week training course is offered free of charge and teaches island youth the skills needed for teens and children in our community to volunteer at their local shelter. 

During the school year a classroom introduction of HIHS by Ackerman is supplemented by lessons in basic pet care customized to each class. The program is coordinated through each school’s curriculum coordinator or principal and is offered free as part of HIHS’s outreach efforts. The program is available from pre-K through grade 12.

Thanks to a grant received by Hawaii Island Humane Society, Kind News from the Humane Society of the United States has recently been introduced. Free back packs filled with learning materials and lessons will soon be available to island teachers. 

Instructors will be able to check-out the packs from HIHS shelters for a small, refundable deposit to use for their own classroom lessons.

For more information on any of these programs, contact Ackerman via email at

Hawaii Island Humane Society was recently presented a 2009 Community Education Pualu Award by the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce in recognition of their outstanding educational programs.

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet over-population, and enhance the relationship between humans and animals. 

HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more. 

Learn more at or call 329-1175.

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