Groundbreaking Research Being Conducted to Humanely Manage Cat Population on Maui

July 29, 2022
DC Cat Count

Pu’unene, HI (7/29/22): Maui Humane Society is announcing plans to implement an island-wide “Community Cat Count” beginning early August.  The survey will be conducted across Maui as an effort to better understand and effectively manage the cat population as humanely as possible.

This project will use tools developed by the groundbreaking research conducted by DC Cat Count. DC Cat Count was launched in 2018 in Washington, DC by a unique collaboration between animal welfare organizations and conservation scientists led by such groups as the Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Rescue Alliance, and the Great Basin Bird Observatory.  This was the first project ever to comprehensively estimate population size using cat counting data and advanced statistical methods. 

It has been estimated that Maui is home to 40,000+ free-roaming cats. DC Cat Count survey results will provide a more reliant baseline which will create a good information-based policy on how to address the concerns of the community. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane approach to addressing community cat populations. Maui Humane Society established their TNR program in November 2017 and has since increased the Live-Release-Rate of cats from 33.5% (2016) to 80.2% (2022). DC Cat Count survey results will provide further insight to humanely manage the cat population.

Maui will be the first location (outside of Washington, DC) to utilize these research tools for a survey, estimated to take four months to complete. Among the research tools to complete the survey include utilizing shelter data collection, non-invasive field cameras in combination with a Count Manager and field technicians to conduct data collection. Maui Humane Society will also be recruiting volunteers to assist with the count.  This effort is funded through a grant of $77,000 from the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation. If you are interested in volunteering for this effort, please reach out to Maui Humane Society at


About the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation:
The Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation is a private charitable foundation based in Incline Village, Nevada. The Duffields are the founders of Maddie’s Fund, a leading animal welfare foundation dedicated to revolutionizing the status and well-being of companion animals. While the Duffields are long-time benefactors of companion animal causes, the Foundation also allows them to focus their philanthropic efforts in other areas that they are passionate about including supporting military veterans and giving back to their local community.

About Maui Humane Society:
Maui Humane Society is the island’s only open admission shelter, accepting all animals in need. The organization cares for over 4400 animals a year and offers high volume, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to the public for owned pets. The shelter has a robust foster and volunteer program, transfers hundreds of animals through Wings of Aloha flights to adoption-guaranteed homes, practices TNR as a humane method of reducing the community cat population and provides food and supplies at no cost to disadvantaged pet owners through the 4EverPets community outreach program. Visit for more information.

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