Help Expand Our Capacity for Care: Calling All Animal Lovers to the Rescue

Across the nation, shelters and rescue organizations are bursting at the seams with a near-constant influx of stray intakes and animals being surrendered to their care. Hawaiʻi’s shelters have not been immune to this crisis. The Hawaiian Humane Society has been persistently over-capacity since October 2022, which marks more than a year of constrained shelter space, stretching resources and staffing to their limits and impacting our ability to support the animals that need us most. 

Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living and lack of affordable, pet-friendly housing are often cited as the reasons individuals are forced to make the difficult decision to surrender their pets. With shelters and our partner rescue organizations full, we need you – all of the animal lovers in our community – to step up and help to expand our capacity for care. Hawaiian Humane’s Pet Kōkua Outreach program helps keep pets with their families through its Pet Food Bank, wellness clinics and access to spay/neuter. Over the past year, we’ve launched additional initiatives to engage the community as our partners to divert pets from entering the overcrowded shelter environment. You can make a difference today!

Be a Lap Crasher Foster

Hawaiian Humane just launched an all-new short-term foster program for cats this November. With hundreds of cats waiting for adoption, or for space to open up on our adoption floor and at our off-site adoption partners, Lap Crashers is critical in helping to promote cat adoptions and provide shelter cats an opportunity to acclimate to a home environment – and potentially their adoptive home! This time with a loving caregiver helps them relax and gain more socializationThis time also helps potential adopters get to know the cat they are interested in adopting before they make the long-term commitment!  

Want to be a Lap Crasher foster? It’s simple! Just walk in to our Mōʻiliʻili Campus or Kosasa Family Campus at Hoʻopili today and our adoptions representatives will help you! No appointments or sign-ups are necessary. 



Be a Couch Crasher Foster

In October 2022, we launched our Couch Crashers short-term foster program that gives adoptable adult dogs a break from the shelter by staying with foster families for up to two weeks. Studies have shown that similar foster programs are beneficial to dogs’ mental and physical well being, while also alleviating space constraints in shelters. Because each Couch Crasher family is asked to submit a virtual report card on their foster dog, this time in a home environment gives us valuable information to match the ideal family and household to each dog, while also allowing them to decompress and socialize outside of the shelter. 

Want to be a Couch Crasher foster? It’s simple! Just walk in to our Mōʻiliʻili Campus or Kosasa Family Campus at Hoʻopili today and our adoptions representatives will help you! No appointments or sign-ups are necessary. 



Kitten Kits

Summer may feel like it’s upon us year-round here in Hawaiʻi and so does kitten season. We typically see the highest influx of newborn kittens brought into our care between May and September. Each year, we offer free “kitten kits” to people who have found abandoned neonate kittens and would like to care for them on their own. With their weakened immune systems and complete reliance on human intervention to survive in the absence of their mother, the ideal place for neonate kittens to thrive is in a home environment. Our kitten kits serve as a starter kit for members of the public who would prefer to care for these kittens on their own without ever bringing them into the shelter, including finding homes for the kittens when they are ready! These kits include kitten formula, essential supplies and a guide on neonate care courtesy of The Kitten Lady™. 



Other Ways to Support

There are several other ways you can make a difference, and your efforts may inspire others to follow your lead:

  • Adopt
    • Adoption is perhaps the most direct way to help to “clear the shelters.” By adopting from a shelter, you are providing a pet with a second chance at a happy life, while also not contributing to commercial breeding and pet overpopulation. 
  • Foster a pet with medical or behavioral needs
    • Often, the pets in our care are not yet ready for adoption because they need to recuperate from surgery or a prolonged medical condition, are underweight or too young, or need additional time to socialize. 
  • Give the gift of your time as a volunteer
    • Volunteers are the heart and soul of Hawaiian Humane. Last fiscal year alone, Hawaiian Humane’s 900+ volunteer force contributed more than 100,000 volunteer hours in supporting our mission across a variety of roles, including dog walking; cat and small animal enrichment; administrative, facilities, laundry, admissions and adoptions support.
  • Explore alternatives to surrendering your pet
    • We understand that situations can arise that may cause you to question whether keeping a pet is the best option for you or your pet. We also know that the human-animal bond is a strong one, and that keeping that bond intact is usually preferable. It is our goal to keep pets and people together and we offer a variety of resources and programs to help make that possible detailed at 
  • Raise awareness on the importance of spaying and neutering
    • Preventing the cycle of overpopulation is essential to reducing the number of animals in shelters. The most effective strategy to break that cycle is by supporting spay/neuter initiatives and advocating for legislation that promotes community spay/neuter programs and responsible breeding practices. 

These collective, community-based solutions allow our staff and volunteers to provide optimal care to the animals that need us most and prevent the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals. That requires the participation of our animal-loving community here on Oʻahu. Whether you choose to be a Couch Crasher family, foster neonate kittens, adopt, support spay/neuter initiatives, or all of the above, your actions can make a significant direct impact in reducing the number of animals in need.