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Humane society sees increase in animal surrenders as pet owners feel inflation’s squeeze

They're running out of space to house all of the animals. More owners are also seeking help through their pet food bank program.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 2:05 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaiian Humane Society is seeing an unprecedented number of animal surrenders and soaring need for its pet food bank ― in a situation the nonprofit worries will only get worse as costs continue to rise.

“We’ve seen a trend recently, there’s just an increased need for pet food,” said Jessica Tronoski, Hawaiian Humane communications manager. In fact, distributions are up about 50% compared to last year.

Tronoski said the shelter has also seen more people surrendering their animals.

“I think it would be fair to say that some of the surrenders are due to financial hardship,” Tronoski said. “People just wanting the best for their animals, but not being able to provide that at this time.”

It’s so busy that the shelter has had to temporarily make changes to its surrender policy. Owners can relinquish pets by appointment only and slots are fully booked until July. Field services teams will not be doing pet pickups until then.

Jerry Kepa is grateful that when times get tough, he can rely on the nonprofit’s food bank for his cats.

“At least once a month, you can come here,” he said. “It really helps me out.”

He said that rising costs have hurt his family’s budget so he was happy when he learned that the bank was an option for him.

Tronoski said it’s clear that people and pets need their help.

So they’ll do their best to keep the shelves full ― and the space free.

The Hawaiian Humane Society also said foster volunteers are needed year-round, with the need particularly great at the moment. Additional pressure comes from the current peak in kitten season.

Emergency services are available as normal.

The nonprofit is offering an adoption special through the end of the month to help animals find homes.

All cats and dogs have their adoption fees half off. All adoption fees are waived for small and exotic animals.

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