Animal shelters statewide near capacity after New Years holiday

Local News

Animal shelters across the state are struggling to deal with the influx of pets brought in after the New Year holiday. 

At the Hawaiian Humane Society in Honolulu, there were 73 animals admitted on New Years Day. 36 people filed for a lost pet on that day alone. They say that only 35 pets were able to reunite with their owners on New Years Day.

The Humane Society’s on Kauai and Hawaii island don’t turn away pets when they’re brought in, but they’ve only got a limited amount of space to work with. 

At the Kauai Humane Society, executive director Mirah Horowitz says they took in 13 animals over the New years holiday, and are almost at capacity, which is about 220 animals.

“Right now we do not have an empty kennel anywhere in the shelter,” said Horowitz. “We have seen a small uptick in the number of lost pets that have come into the shelter.”

She says they’ve had to change up kennel space.

“Because of the extra animals that we took in over New Years, we have some {kennels} that are basically cut in half and we have dogs on both sides,” said Horowitz.

It’s a similar situation on the Big Island.

At the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Keaau location, I’m told they’ve had to put as many as three animals to a single kennel. 

To help deal with the crowding, the organizations are working with other shelters to house the animals that are brought in…they’re also allowing people who find a microchipped pet to house the pet until the owners are found. 

Horowitz says the current amount of available space is not ideal.

“That’s not really a position that you want to be in. You want to have you know any given day, five to 10 open kennel spaces for the public intakes to come into if they’re needed.” 

She says the number of pets at the kennel is expected to go down in the next few days as owners come to pick up their pets. Pets with a microchip can be held for up to nine days. 

Horowitz says that pet owners need to make sure their pets have the proper identification whether it’s a microchip or a collar with nametags. 

If you’re still searching for a lost pet on Oahu, you can fill out the form at The Humane Society’s website here.

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