Hawaiian Humane Society adds new incentives to adopt older pets


New rules for those who want to adopt cats or dogs. The Hawaiian Humane Society has added some incentives to get people to bring home older pets.

Starting next week it will be considerably cheaper to bring home an older cat or dog. And in some cases, it won’t cost anything at all.

Older dogs like 10-year-old Maui can be just as loveable and playful as any puppy. And the humane society wants more families to find that out for themselves.

Next week, the price of adoption has changed from the usual $85 per dog or cat. Instead there’s tier pricing.

It’ll cost $125 to adopt a puppy and the price goes down for an older dog. If you’re 55 years old or older, adopting a six-year-old dog is free.

“It’s our senior to senior program, which we’ve always had. But we’ve actually dropped the person’s age by 10 years so you can even be younger to take home a senior pet with waived fees,” said Suzy Tam from the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Similar changes apply to adopting cats, but you can be any age to adopt one for free if it’s at least six years old. Animal experts say an older pet is more appreciative and forms a stronger bond with a new owner.

“Because either they’ve come from a bad situation, a bad home. So when they get a good home, they really appreciate it and they bond so strongly with the new owners,” said animal behaviorist Wendy Mah.

And as far as that old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Mah says it’s just not true.

“They actually will learn faster cause they’ve learned how to learn. You should do training with the older dog because that forges the bond and the relationship even stronger. And just because they’re older it doesn’t mean their minds aren’t working, and they do love to work,” she said.

The tier pricing is done at other humane societies and shelters around the country. And it has encouraged more families to at least consider adopting older animals.

Another change at the humane society starting next week, the adoption center will be closed on Mondays. That will give staff a chance to get more training on how to match the right pets with potential owners.

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