HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Island Humane Society is currently experiencing an adoptions drought, seeing very few applications and appointments. Their mainland transfer partners are also seeing the same downward trend, making it difficult to accept dogs from HIHS. As a result, dogs are staying for extended times as they wait to be noticed.

“I have to emphatically share that I cannot believe how wonderful our dogs are,” said Lauren Nickerson, CEO of HIHS. “We have such an incredible population of great dogs right now, all of them waiting for a chance to be someone’s best friend.”

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HIHS is currently operating overcapacity with dogs living in overflow areas, such as in their medical recovery kennels, since the ones at both their Keaau Shelter and Animal Community Center in Kona are completely full.

Here are their numbers as of Monday, Oct. 24:

  • 33 dogs and puppies are on the wait list to come in from the County of Hawaii Animal Control (HIHS is unable to transfer these dogs because there’s no space available)
  • 78 dogs and puppies are in shelters
  • 33 dogs and puppies are in foster and Foster to Adopt homes

Click here to see which animals are available for adoption. The site is updated in real time.

“Although we strive to have beautiful photos of all of our adoptable pets, we understand that it can be hard to choose based on a photo – or even just by seeing the dog in their kennel at the shelter,” said Nickerson. “Some dogs can be stressed in their kennel, and don’t always show their ‘true selves.'”

If you’re interested in adopting, submit a pre-adoption questionnaire so that HIHS can schedule a one-hour appointment for you to meet and interact with dogs outside of their kennels. HIHS also offers off-island adoptions to people on the neighbor islands and even on the mainland.

“We also highly encourage those looking for a dog to be open to different ages and especially sizes, if they are able,” said Nickerson. “We have a lot of interest from people looking to adopt small dogs due to size restrictions in rentals, but our medium and large dogs are constantly overlooked.”

Click here for ways you can help animals currently living in the shelters and how to help keep animals out of shelters.

An important reminder: Your pet is your responsibility. Do not abandon them at the shelters.

“We encourage everyone in our community who is looking to add a companion animal to their family to visit their local humane society,” said Nickerson. “Animal shelters across the state, and across the country, are experiencing the same or similar crisis for space.”

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All dogs at HIHS are spayed/neutered, microchipped, heartworm tested and ready for adoption.