Updated 

Organizers suspend effort to open Molokai shelter


HOOLEHUA, Molokai — Organizers trying to bring Molokai its first open-admission animal shelter are suspending their efforts after problems with expensive real estate and permitting.

The Maui News reports staff members of Shields Animal Shelter Foundation will no longer pursue the shelter after spending two years and more than $200,000 in travel and other expenses.

Debi Buechel, the foundation’s executive director, says state and local regulations would mean delays. She says even if they found a suitable place, it would be about five years before they could put up a building.

Buechel was pursuing the shelter in honor of a friend, Kathleen Shields, who died in 2009 and left an endowment to start the foundation. Shields frequently visited Molokai and requested in her will that the money be used for the shelter.