Pet ownership rising in Hawaii despite the faltering economy


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question: We've read news that shelters are overflowing with animals because people can't afford to care of them. Is that true?

Answer: National news stories about the increase in pet surrenders to animal shelters due to the economic crisis have been alarming. The good news is that this story does not apply to Oahu. Hawaiian Humane Society data shows no difference in animal arrivals compared with the same period last year. In fact, statistics show that pet ownership is on the rise. On Oahu, nearly 60 percent of the population has a pet.

Q: The stories I've been reading also say that shelters are putting more animals down because of the economy. Is that happening here?

A: Oahu's euthanasia rate of healthy, adoptable animals is less than 2 percent - far below the national average. And the Humane Society is working toward a lower rate every year. Choosing adoption, spaying pets and making a lifelong commitment to your animals are perhaps the most powerful choices you can make to reduce the population in shelters.

Saving lives, finding new families for the homeless and helping owners keep their pets for life is a huge undertaking for the few animal-welfare organizations that exist on Oahu. It requires a tremendous amount of community support no matter what economic challenges islanders face.

We are always in need of more support from the community, from volunteers, adopters, educators and advocates. Landlords, property managers and others in positions of influence can choose to support families with pets.

Those who would like to volunteer can call 356-2217.


The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Indicate “;Pet Ohana”; in the subject line. Or, write “;Pet Ohana,”; Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.