Pet visitation team continues to spread pawsitivity during pandemic


HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHON2) – The pandemic forced one of the Hawaiian Humane Society’s programs to come to a complete halt. But, one team figured out a creative way to continue to spread joy.

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Leonard Chong and his partner Pohaku are among many pet visitation teams at the Hawaiian Humane Society. The pandemic put many teams on a hiatus, but Chong and Pohaku didn’t stop.

With a little brainstorming, the Hawaiian Humane Society and Aloha Nursing Rehab Centre came up with a creative solution.

“Not a lot of places are able to do that, but they decided even though there wasn’t any contact face to face with the residents, maybe our team could be behind a glass wall,” said Suzy Tam from the Hawaiian Humane Society. “There will be no contact, no touching, no hugging, but these residents would be able to see Leonard and Pohaku.”

Chong and his 7-year-old pit bull can now continue to do what they do best.

“The patients, they keep to themselves and then when they see us it’s like all of a sudden they’re in a different world,” said Leonard Chong, a Hawaiian Humane Society volunteer. “They’re smiling, reminiscing, they’re talking, sharing stuff it’s very rewarding.”

The duo is no stranger to bringing joy to others. Chong and Pohaku have been a visitation team since 2015.

“We also go to veterans treatment court. We assist the veterans that go through drug rehab and anger management and they just love it,” said Chong.

The team says they’ll continue to make their social distanced visits on a weekly basis.

To learn more about the Hawaiian Humane Society’s pet visitation program, click here.

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