After seizing 300 dogs, humane society scrambles to find foster families

After seizing 300 dogs, humane society scrambles to find foster families

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaiian Humane Society is close to capacity after taking in 300 dogs confiscated from a Makaha home earlier this month.

It was one of the biggest intakes in the history of the shelter, and caring for the dogs is proving to be a big job.

Many of the animals were in need of a vet, and the nonprofit is scrambling to find foster homes to house them.

"They were in all kinds of different conditions. Some of them had mange and pressure sores. A lot of fleas and ticks," said Suzy Tam, of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Because the dogs are now a part of a police investigation, Hawaii News Now wasn't allowed to capture video of them Monday.

But all of the kennels on site were full.

And while donations have poured in, families willing to foster have not.

Shelter officials say they've placed only 30 percent of the rescues in foster homes, leaving nearly 230 dogs living anywhere there's space. This, as the humane society takes in an average of 65 new animals every day.

"We have some dogs in crates and things like that. I don't know how many animals we have currently in our care but it's quite a bit," Tam said.

The humane society does euthanize some of its animals, but officials said there are no plans to put down any of the confiscated dogs.

Aaron Ota and Chris Jackson heard the shelter needed help and brought a foster pup home on Friday.

"Juno is like a Chihuahua terrier mix. In the past few days, she's just totally turned around. Her tail is up. She chases balls. She's a happy dog," Ota said.

The Honolulu Police Department couldn't say how long the investigation into the Leeward Oahu property will last. Similar cases, though, have taken years.

Agencies have offered to connect the Hawaiian Humane Society with mainland shelters to help place animals that can be adopted.

Meanwhile, the society's staff is focused of helping the confiscated dogs feel like part of a family.

"I think just feeling love is something that really helps dogs heal," Tam said.

Jackson added that the process of fostering a dog is easy, and that a family can walk out with a dog the same day.

"They supply us with the kennel. They supply us with the food. So there's really no cost to us. It's just our time," Jackson said.

Interested in fostering a dog? Click here.

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