Animal rescue organization sees spike in adoption returns post COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Paws of Hawaii has seen about five adoption returns in the last two weeks.

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“It’s either due to a loss of a job or not enough time or even now that the world is getting back to normal,” said Ku’ulei Durand, executive director of Paws of Hawaii. “Some people are going back to their jobs and so they just don’t have enough time for the dogs.”

It’s a concerning number considering the animal rescue organization only sees about ten returns per year.

“When people do message to return, we definitely try to first talk with them about the potential for training or the potential of taking the dog and having somebody either check on them during the day or to daycare,” Durand said.

Humane societies across Hawaii say they haven’t seen an influx in returns so far, but they are concerned they’ll see a spike soon.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society even created the Foster to Adopt program at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent this issue.

“It allows up to three weeks in the home for interested adopters to take a pet home and spend three weeks with them in the comfort and safety of their own home to make sure it’s a good match for them,” said Lauren Nickerson, executive director of the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

Another post COVID-19 shutdown concern is pets suffering from separation anxiety.

“People go back to work and their animals are now protesting. They do something naughty at home, because you’ve been with them every single day for the past several months,” said Durand.

“They want to know what to expect. If you can work with them on that, even if you’re going to run to the grocery store, but you’re going to give them time away from you that’s a positive time,” Nickerson said.

Potential adopters should always keep in mind that pets are a lot of work. Things to consider before adopting includes, time, housing space, veterinary and training costs.

All of Hawaii’s humane societies and animal rescue non-profit organizations have resources to help pet owners even after they’ve adopted a new furry friend.

Click here for links to the Hawaiian Humane Society, Maui Humane Society, Kauai Humane Society, and Hawaii Island Humane Society. Click here to learn more about Paws of Hawaii.

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