Maui Humane Society Surpasses Rabbit & Guinea Pig Capacity; Offers Free Rabbit Vaccine Clinic July 23rd

Pu’unene, HI (7/5/22): Over the past 4 weeks, Maui Humane Society has received substantial surrender increases in guinea pigs and rabbits, unlike anything they have seen before. The shelter has surpassed capacity and temporary habitats have been built to accommodate the unforeseen increase. Owners are emailing, calling, and arriving at the shelter with a large number of animals wanting to surrender, sometimes due to no fault of their own.

On June 16, 14 guinea pigs were surrendered to Maui Humane Society from a family who tragically lost everything in their home due to a fire. The family were responsible pet owners, having the guinea pigs separated by sex and had no intention of surrendering them, until they lost everything. The guinea pigs were given special medical attention due to smoke inhalation. An on-island transfer partner, Leilani Farm Sanctuary, took some to help with overcapacity, while others became available for adoption.

Additionally, Maui Humane Society has received multiple rabbit surrenders, up to 30 from a single household.

To make matters more complicated, Hawai’i’s first case of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, type 2 (RHDV2) was confirmed on a Maui farm on June 17. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture confirmed RHDV2 in a 4- to 5-year-old neutered male rabbit on a farm in Kula. Maui Humane Society immediately put in measures to ensure the in-shelter rabbit population is safe. As of July 1, all eligible rabbits have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Maui Humane Society is offering a free vaccination clinic to the public for rabbits on July 23rd from 9am-12pm at Maui Humane Society. Maui Humane Society highly advises all rabbit owners to take advantage of the free clinic by booking an appointment on our website to ensure their rabbit(s) are vaccinated and safe.

“The vaccination could save your rabbit’s life,” stated Medical Director, Dr. Laurie Gaines. “This highly contagious and fatal disease could be catastrophic to the rabbit population on Maui. Please protect your rabbits. We look forward to seeing you on July 23rd.”

The vaccination series for RHDV2 comes in two parts (21 days apart). The second dose of the vaccine will be distributed in similar fashion on August 13. Knowing that rabbits are often confined to their homes, those needing a carrier for their rabbit can reserve a free transfer carrier to be picked up on July 15 or 16 at Maui Humane Society. For more information on RHDV2 and the Vaccination Clinic, please visit

With the increased guinea pig and rabbit intake, Maui Humane Society desperately seeks adopters in the community. Guinea Pigs and rabbits are great pets for apartments or smaller homes as they require less space. Additionally, they are great for first-time pet owners or families with kids. Can you find some BUNNY to love this July? All rabbits and guinea pigs have $0 adoption fees. Visit to see all the adoptable animals.

If you’re looking to surrender your pet, Maui Humane Society has resources for you. If you are struggling with financial hardship or relocation, but want to keep your pet(s), 4EverPets is here to help owners and animals stay together. All animal surrenders (stray or owner-surrendered) are by appointment only. Please call (808) 877-3680 ext. 3 during operating hours to schedule.