Honolulu Star Advisor: Empty the Shelters

Kitten season has begun. During the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event, which runs from today to May 15, kittens will be available for adoption for a reduced fee of $25 at Maui Humane Society.

The BISSELL Pet Foundation kicks off “Empty the Shelters” today by offering sponsorship of animal adoptions at all four of Hawaii’s humane societies through May 15.

The Hawaiian Humane Society kicked off the event a day early on Sunday, which was National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

From now through May 7, all animals of all ages will be available for a reduced adoption fee of $25. From May 8 to May 15, adoption fees will be waived for all animals of all ages.

The Hawaiian Humane Society’s kennels have been over-capacity with dogs since October, and continue to be so as the number of pet surrenders and strays increase. It is also kitten season, and more than 200 are currently getting care in specialized foster homes.

“We are still hearing that the lack of affordable, pet-friendly housing and inflation are the prevalent factors in families being compell[ed] to surrender their pets, which is not unique to Oahu or Hawaii as a whole, but is exacerbated that much more by our state’s high cost of living,” wrote HHS spokeswoman Brandy Shimabukuro in an email.

The Maui Humane Society  is also holding an “Empty the Shelters” adoption special from today through May 15. Adoptions will be free for dogs over 6 months old, cats, and small animals. Adoption fees for kittens will be reduced to $25.

The event comes at a time when many shelter animals are desperately in need of temporary fosters or adoptions, according to MHS spokeswoman Katie Shannon, which recently issued another plea for “SOS fosters” to help take in dogs due to shelter overcapacity.

She also cited the lack of pet-friendly housing as a challenge, which has been the reason for an estimated 40% of all surrenders on Maui. There has also been an uptick in stray animals on the island, and officers are picking up about five per day, she said.

“BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters’ is proven to make a lifesaving difference, and we are thrilled to team up with Dogtopia, who shares our vision to give every pet their best life,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation, in a news release. “This is a very difficult time for shelters across the country, with increasing owner surrenders due to the housing crisis and inflation as well as slowed adoption rates. With Dogtopia’s partnership, we are hopeful more pets than ever will find homes during this national event.”

BISSELL and Dogtopia are also sponsoring animal adoptions at the Kauai Humane Society and Hawaii Island Humane Society. Sponsorships will occur at more than 350 shelters in 45 states with pets available for adoption for just $50 or less.

Read the article at Honolulu Star Advisor.