Dinah Chao

After years of rescuing stray dogs and cats on the island of Kaua`i and saying, “Something more needs to be done to help these animals,” Dinah decided to do something. With the encouragement and support from her friend, Jon, and uncle, James, Dinah co-founded KAWS with Ally Kirk. She has worked as an educator on Kaua`i for the past 17 years, during which she fostered her belief that every child, when given what he or she needs, can succeed. She strives to do the same for the animals of Kaua`i, primarily focusing on the dogs in need. Dinah founded the Running Club at KHS, a group of volunteers who exercise, socialize, dote on, and advocate for the shelter dogs at the Kaua`i Humane Society. Through networking and thinking outside of the box, Dinah hopes to continue to find homes for the homeless pets on Kaua`i, but on a much larger scale than when she first began this endeavor. She is honored to be a part of Kaua`i Animal Welfare Society.


Kim Foster

A life-long animal lover, Kim has worked on rescue missions with not only the local dogs at the Kaua`i Humane Society, but also dogs she has never met.  In March of 2013, she began assisting with Giant Paw Prints Rescue in Valparaiso, IN.  Kim is involved with dogs that require special assistance and helps to plan fund raisers and event for Giant Paw Prints.  Kim is also an avid member of the Running Club at KHS where she not only exercises and cares for the dogs, but advocates for them when they are struggling.  She has also fostered kittens and puppies for KHS.  Kim has a degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and has worked with Marriott Vacation Club for 25 years, the past 9 years on Kaua`i.  She is married and the mother of twins, a boy and a girl, and a beagle named Yoshi.


Nick Hua

Nick has long been working on his dream of building an animal sanctuary where dogs and cats can have fun and play and get the care and love that they need to thrive. A native of Los Angeles, Nick hopes to retire on Kauai someday, but for now divides his time between Southern California and his home in Princeville. Nick graduated from UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University School of Law, cum laude and Order of the Coif. A partner at Hua Gallai, LLP in Beverly Hills, Nick specializes in labor and employment, commercial litigation, and trademark laws. Nick was admitted to the Order of Distinguished Attorneys from the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and in 2008 was named a Rising Star in Super Lawyers and Los Angeles magazines.
When not practicing law, Nick spends time with his husband and their four dogs, and fondly reminisces about his late cat, a 14-lb. sweet orange tabby named Hercule Poirot.

Allyson Kirk


Ally has been involved in every aspect of animal rescue for the past 20 years.  She has spent most of her life rescuing dogs and cats; she worked and volunteered at Zeus’ Place, a well-known no-kill rescue in New Orleans, as well as the Kaua`i Community Cat Project doing trap, neuter, and return.  Ally moved to Kaua`i in 2010 with her son and began to volunteer her time at the Kaua`i Humane Society focusing on the special needs dogs.  She received her certification as a small animal massage practitioner through the Northwest School of Animal Massage, specializing in rehabilitation massage.  Ally believes that massage can work miracles on emotionally depleted, homeless pets to help them overcome their fear and allowing them to acclimate to human touch.  Her other passion is helping special needs animals- from making them comfortable to networking to find them homes.  For the past five years, Ally has worked at the local all natural pet supply store, Natural Pet Hawai`i, where she set up the program to get shelter dogs out of the kennels and into the store 2-3 days a week to help the dogs become accustomed to a different environment and get them seen by the public.  Ally has also found homes for her many foster kittens through networking at Natural Pet Hawai`i.


David Schwartz

David owns three dogs and has a long history of passionately advocating for the welfare and safety of animals. He is co-owner of Ko Bakery on Kauai and also works as Managing Director at Advanced Securities Consulting and Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for the Study of Financial Market Evolution. His business and legal career spans 25 years and includes work in both the public and private sectors. David’s practice centers on risk management, corporate governance, and the regulation of financial services and products, including regulated investment companies and securities lending and finance. David earned his BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law. David is licensed to practice law in Texas and District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Tax Court. He is also is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Texas.