HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Island Humane Society is calling on the community to help foster puppies, as well as adult dogs, to help alleviate space following a recent influx of emergency surrenders. With 26 puppies in their care and with eight more scheduled to arrive this week, HIHS urgently needs your help.

“We were already operating AT capacity, and now, with having multiple urgent medical cases, we are overcapacity,” HIHS posted on Facebook.

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Over the weekend, HIHS received a litter of five puppies that have all tested positive for parvovirus, a highly contagious virus. While vaccines can prevent it, mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases.

“Thus far, one of the five puppies already had an infection that was far too advanced and has succumbed to the illness,” HIHS CEO Lauren Nickerson told KHON2. “The other four are receiving treatment and their prognosis is guarded.”

Then on Monday, Sept. 12, HIHS found a puppy abandoned at the Keaau Shelter. She is unable to use her back legs and is receiving treatment for a suspected parasite infection which can cause temporary paralysis. HIHS also received six puppies suffering from hair loss and scaly skin due to a scabies infestation.

Of the 26 puppies, 13 are available for adoption, one puppy has a pending adoption and the remaining are all receiving medical care. HIHS is reminding the community of their Dog and Cat Days of Summer adoption special that runs through Sept. 25. There is no adoption fee for all animals ages 6 months and older. Click here to see available dogs. Click here to see available cats.

“We currently have a wait list of over 50 dogs that we are hoping to intake through our lifesaving partnership with County of Hawaii Animal Control and we are operating overcapacity due to the influx of emergency surrenders,” Nickerson said Monday night.

If you can’t adopt but would like to foster, email foster@hihs.org or complete an application here.

HIHS currently needs fosters in Keaau and Hilo for puppies that need to be bathed and isolated from other animals — their medical care will be provided. Fosters are also needed in Kona for incoming underage puppies this week. 


“We have had quite the number of litters ‘mysteriously’ show up recently, and what’s more – these are not healthy animals and they have been allowed to suffer,” HIHS said on Facebook.

HIHS offers low-cost spay and neuter which is critical to preventing unwanted litters. To get on their wait list, email spayandneuter@hihs.org.

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HIHS is asking for donations to make sure there’s enough food, medication and staffing for all animals in their care. Click here to help.