The New Normal: Hawaiian Humane Society changes adoption process due to COVID-19


HONOLULU (KHON2) — At the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Honolulu campus, visitors will find signs asking them to mask up before entering. 

The mask requirement is just one of the many changes in life we are now used to. 

The pandemic has also created common phrases like social distancing.

“Just remember the social distancing,” said Daniel Roselle of the Hawaiian Humane Society. “All across campus we have hand-washing stations and hand sanitation stations. Just like everyone else, we’re just asking people to be considerate for others.”

The new protocols likely aren’t anything visitors haven’t already heard before. 

However, when it comes to the animals, they have no idea the world is facing a pandemic. 

“These pets, they don’t know that it’s COVID,” Roselle said.  “They still need a home.”

For families looking to add a pet, the adoption process has undergone a lot of changes to adjust to the new normal. 

“You can either do everything online,” Roselle said about one of the shelter’s biggest changes it has had to make due to COVID-19.  “You can call one of our adoption representatives, select your pet, and then they’ll just deliver it right to your car. Or you can make an appointment also to just come in and meet the available pets yourselves.” 

The Humane Society said it is asking all visitors to keep their groups small. 

“The idea is just to bring maybe one or two people,” Roselle said about the cat and dog houses.  “As much as it may be a fun outing, it’s best not to bring your whole ‘ohana. You don’t want to bring five or 10 people because they are really confined spaces.”

Even with the major changes to the adoption process, Roselle said the community showed up for the animals when the shelter needed it the most. 

“We had no idea how this would end up, I have to tell you,” Roselle explained. “When we saw this pandemic coming, we were concerned because the animals don’t stop coming in.”

Now, almost all of the Hawaiian Humane Society’s dog kennels are empty everyday. 

“They have the time to invest in a new member for the family,” Roselle said. “I think there’s something about being able to give back in a time like this. To be able to help another species that needs help. We just found since the very beginning, since the middle of March, it has been consistently strong adoptions, the fostering, even the donations of pet food. It’s been really, really amazing.”  

Still, there are many cats and kittens that need forever homes. 

If you’re interested in adopting a pet or fostering, click here.

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