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Humane Society launches ‘Love is Blind’ to match dogs with fosters

                                Nohea, a 7-year-old Labrador retriever mix, and Guy Fieri, a 10-year-old Labrador hound mix, are available for adoption or foster.
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Nohea, a 7-year-old Labrador retriever mix, and Guy Fieri, a 10-year-old Labrador hound mix, are available for adoption or foster.

The Hawaiian Humane Society is urgently seeking families to foster or adopt available dogs.

The shelter population is at a record high, according to the nonprofit, and despite a recent flash adoption special over the weekend that successfully landed 63 dogs into adoptive homes, and 16 into foster homes, many more are still in need.

More than 170 dogs still await adoption from the Society’s two shelters – at Moiliili and the Kosasa Family Campus at Hoopili.

“It’s surrenders, it’s a lot of strays,” said HHS spokeswoman Brandy Shimabukuro. “You have people having to make these difficult decisions, where it’s the high cost of living, and the complete and utter lack of pet-friendly housing, much less pet-inclusive housing.”

Starting today, the Society is launching its “Love is Blind” initiative, inspired by the Netflix series, to match shelter dogs with foster homes through its Couch Crashers program.

Potential families and adopters are invited to fill out a questionnaire listing their preferences, lifestyle, and household information, then visit one of the campuses to be paired blindly with a shelter dog.

Then there will be a “reveal,” in which adoption representatives will bring out their prospective match to take home for one to two weeks, along with supplies for the Couch Crashers foster program.

The “Love is Blind” program, which is for dogs 1 year and older, continues through April 30.

The Society’s shelters have been persistently overcapacity since October 2022, or for more than a year and a half, as residents continue to struggle with the cost of living and pet-friendly housing, many of which come with weight or breed restrictions.

While this doesn’t mean the Humane Society will turn anyone away, Shimabukuro said, moving dogs off campuses will allow the nonprofit to provide care for additional animals that arrive each day.

“All the humane societies are feeling this,” she said. “Kauai, Maui, Hawaii island, all the rescue organizations… Adoptions are stagnating and the number of dogs is skyrocketing.”

For those struggling with costs, Shimabukuro said there are resources like the pet food bank, and for behavioral issues, free training classes in partnership with GoodPup Training.

To participate in a “Love is Blind” match, the public may visit Hawaiian Humane’s Moiliili campus daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or the Kosasa Family Campus at Hoopili Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit HawaiianHumane.org/love-is-blind to learn more about the program.

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