Hawaiian Humane Society

About Us

The Hawaiian Humane Society is dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals. We work towards creating a truly humane society based on compassion and shared responsibility. We envision a community in which every companion animal has a home – a community in which people highly regard and care for their own animals and all animals on O’ahu.

In 2019, the Board of Directors, and an all new leadership team lead by CEO Anna Neubauer, committed our organization to becoming a completely new organization. We are focused on being a true community-driven animal welfare organization that follows and even leads in employing and developing best practice for animal wellbeing. We know that so much of the work begins in the community and so are deeply committed to working with partner organizations, government agencies, and concerned community members.

We are guided by the ideals of Socially Conscious Sheltering and are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for animals in our care and in the community we support.

Our Story

In 1883, 350 concerned citizens including King Kalākaua organized what became the Hawaiian Humane Society, to advocate on behalf of companion and working animals. Our first office was a cottage on the Iolani Palace grounds. Hawaiian Humane’s mission quickly grew to include prevention
of cruelty to children and the care of unwed mothers.

In 1897, 26 year-old Helen Kinau Wilder, a member of a prominent Kamaʻāina family, was given the authority to enforce animal cruelty laws as the first female police officer of the Hawaiian Police Force. She and her friends pooled their resources to pay a salary to hire Chang Apana, our first animal crimes investigator. At the time, our welfare efforts were aimed more at working animals than pet cats or dogs. Even then, education was a top priority. In a time when animal information was very basic, it fell to those early members to raise public awareness about the proper care, feeding and humane treatment of animals. The vision of those early pioneers continue to guide our efforts today.

In 1935, Hawaiian Humane turned over the child protection functions to government agencies such as Child Protective Services allowing us to focus our energies exclusive on the needs of Oʻahu’s animals.

In 1942, we relocated to our current campus in Mōʻiliʻili, and have expended our facility several times to meet the growing need, most recently in 2016 with the construction of our Veterinary Services Hospital.

The Hawaiian Humane society grew and expanded our services to meet the challenges that came with a growing population. These services covered the range of animal welfare issues: sterilization, lost pets reunion, oversight of pet licensing, enforcement of city animal ordinances, adoptions, fostering, legislative advocacy, and expanded humane education.

In early 2019, following robust community and staff advocacy calling for dramatic changes to policies and practices, the Hawaiian Humane Society Board of Directors committed to a complete transformation of the organization.

As a renewed and reimagined organization, with a mostly new team, we are focused on becoming national leaders in progressive animal sheltering, which requires strengthening partnerships, providing support to the most needy, dramatically increasing free-roaming cat sterilizations, pushing for substantive improvements to Hawaiʻi’s animal welfare laws, providing fear-free care at our shelter, growing our volunteer programs and being a great place to work for our team.

The next big phase in our history is underway as we prepare to build a second shelter to meet the great need in our West Oʻahu communities. At nearly double the size of our Mōʻiliʻili campus, West Oʻahu will dramatically improve our ability to deliver services equitably across our island.

We are not affiliated with any other island humane society or HSUS or ASPCA. We help local animals with donations – gifts made by friends like you.