PUUNENE (HawaiiNewsNow) – Help is desperately needed at Maui’s only animal shelter.
Officials at the Maui Humane Society say it is overcapacity — more than ever before.
They even have signs up at the entrance saying, “WE ARE FULL.”
“We are asking the community to come and foster animals as soon as they can. What we need is animals to get out of the kennels. We don’t have any open kennels right now, which means any animal coming in, we don’t have space for,” said Katie Shannon, Maui Humane Society director of marketing.
Simon is a 3-year-old, three-legged pooch who loves to play. He was brought to the Maui Humane Society four months ago with a bullet in his leg. He is one of 120 dogs there who do not have a home.
The Maui Humane Society has kennel capacity for only 40 dogs.
Shannon says they have never been so full for so long.
She says a major factor to the shelter being overcapacity is Maui’s housing crisis.
“We’re seeing about 40% of all surrendered animals due to the housing crisis here and lack of pet-friendly housing here on Maui. We have seen an increase significantly over the past six months of stray animals coming in,” Shannon said.
Shannon said they need more foster families like Richard Zichittella and Mary O’Malley-Keyes, who have been fostering “Mama Coco” for about a month now.
“One of the reasons we foster is when you come to the shelter, you realize they need some help, and you see the shelter being overcapacity. So, we thought we would help out,” Zichittella said.
“We find a lot of joy in it … it’s very fulfilling. It’s not just helping the shelter or our community, but it’s self-fulfilling as well.”
“Any way that we can get animals out of the shelter and into homes. It does change the lives of humans and animals alike, and that human-animal bond is unlike anything else that we can really communicate,” said Shannon.
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