The Hawaiian Humane Society, in response to mandates for social distancing, has moved all adoptions, admissions and fostering to be by appointment only in an effort to limit social gatherings in response to the COVID-19 virus. Hours have also been adjusted.
Normally, the facility at 2700 Waialae Ave. is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends. Appointments can now be made between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have moved to appointment-only adoptions to allow us to space out adopters and create social distance,” said spokesman Daniel Roselle. In addition, HHS is anticipating a potential slowdown in adoptions and an increase in surrenders.
“We continue to adjust. We want everybody to stay safe. We are continuously reviewing and responding. We’re learning, like every other organization,” said Roselle.
In an effort to prepare for the impact of the virus, the Humane Society also is reaching out on social media for emergency foster families to help. Fostering can reduce stress on the animals and helps prevent shelter overcrowding.
In less than 48 hours, the shelter received more than 450 responses from Oahu residents who want to help, said Roselle. “Oahu is coming through for the animals,” he said.
Emergency foster families will care for the animals in their homes for a period of weeks or even a few months, as needed. HHS will provide supplies, food and medical care for the animals.
“Wednesday was our first day of emergency foster appointments, and 38 animals went to foster homes. We had 26 emergency fostering appointments, and some people took home multiple animals. We also had 16 animals adopted and seven reunited with their families,” said Roselle.
With the robust response to the call for fosters, staff members will be working to set up appointments and match fosters with animals or ask them to remain available as more foster families are needed.
“We’re still asking for emergency foster volunteers because we anticipate the need will continue for some time,” said Roselle. Volunteers can participate by emailing email@example.com to set up an emergency foster appointment.
The Hawaiian Humane Society also provides a food bank, which is 100% supported by donations. The food bank “can be the lifeline for cats and dogs whose owners need occasional help feeding them,” said Roselle. “While so much is unknown about how things will develop with this pandemic, we anticipate that need for help from our Pet Food Bank will increase.”
Donations of unopened, unexpired bags of food or canned food can be dropped off at the campus donations shed, next to the admissions lanai.
Food pickup days will be Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to pet owners only. A map of the campus can be found on the website at hawaiianhumane.org.
The shelter normally has about 100 animals available for adoption, including dogs, cats and other animals, many pictured on its website. The Hawaiian Humane Society partners with many of Oahu’s rescue groups, which also foster animals.
“We always have animals and work with our adoption partners,” said Roselle. Many of those organizations can be found on the HHS website, including Hawaii Cat Foundation and Hawaii Dog Foundation, K-9 Kokua, Tails of Aloha, Hawaii Happy Cats and other organizations.