Maui Humane Society begs for help after extreme overcrowding forces euthanasia decisions

They're pleading with the community for help.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:49 PM HST|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 11:04 PM HST
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PUUNENE (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui Humane Society is begging for help as it deals with extremely overcrowded conditions at its shelter.

If no action is taken, they may be forced to euthanize some of the animals.

“We have never come out to the community before to talk about euthanasia the way that we are now, and what we’re trying to do is increase our transparency to really showcase we need help,” said Maui Humane Society Marketing Director Katie Shannon.

Brutus is a 4-year-old, 68-pound, Shar Pei-mixed breed.

He loves back scratches and toys that are squeaky. He is at risk of being euthanized.

The Maui Humane Society has 40 kennels, but they are caring for more than 130 dogs.

Shelter officials say a handful are at risk of being euthanized in order to make more room.

They say on average, about five animals are surrendered to them every day, and not enough are going out.

Brutus is on the list because he has severe allergies.

“In our name ‘humane’, we will euthanize animals that are suffering and whether that be medically, behaviorally, or mentally, and of course, that is our worst-case scenario. But we are dealing with a lack of space,” Shannon said.

Shannon said approximately 40% of the animals coming in are because of the lack of pet-friendly housing on Maui.

“I see that over the past three years, there’s been an increase in pets,” said Brandy Aki, Principal Broker of Emerald Club Realty.

Aki says the increase in pets, combined with the lack in housing in general is really the issue.

“We just need more doors. We need more units. We need more rooms,” Aki said.

Shannon and Aki say it is going to take the entire community to solve this problem.

“We know that there are dogs being bred here on Maui and all over the United States, and that is a complete contradiction to helping this scenario,” Shannon said. “If there are breeders here on Maui, they’re actually contributing to this issue.”

Shelter officials are calling on lawmakers to also step up and help.

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