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Give a Maui dog a temporary home for the holidays

Maui Humane Society

Maui Humane Society has seen a surge in surrendered and stray animals during the pandemic — and they are asking for residents to step up during the holiday season.

Before the pandemic, Maui Humane Society would hold 40 dogs during a busy streak. There are currently 95 dogs under their care.

The pandemic has hosted a variety of problems that lead to the overcapacity of animals in shelters. Many families lost their income. Unable to pay for their pet's medical and food bills, dozens of animals were surrendered back to shelters. The number of stray animals also increased.

Recent flight restrictions and embargoes are creating a backlog of animals being transported to the mainland through the Wings of Aloha program. Before the pandemic, an average of 73 animals flew every month to adoptive families in the mainland. Now, less than 50 animals can travel monthly.

Living in a kennel with dozens of other animals adds stress to dogs. That’s why the Maui Humane Society is asking residents to participate in a short-term foster program to give the dogs a much-needed break during the holidays.

Jenny Miller, Maui Humane Society’s director of development and marketing, explains, "We really are encouraging people to give up about nine days. We’re just asking people to come down to the shelter."

"We’ll give you all the supplies, you don’t need any training. You can pick out a dog and take them home and have a really nice opportunity to give them a much-needed break from the shelter," urges Miller.

Families can choose the animals they wish to foster. Households that already have a dog are encouraged to try fostering — kennel dogs love to have a playmate!

More information can be found at Maui Humane Society's website.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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