About Us



The Hawaiian Humane Society was organized in 1883. In 1897, Helen Kinau Wilder was given the authority to enforce animal cruelty laws. At that time, the Society’s officers ventured out on horseback rather than in animal rescue trucks.

Petitioning the police department for the authority to protect the city's animals, she was appointed a special constable by the Marshall of the Republic of Hawaii. She and her friends pooled their resources to pay a salary to hire Chang Apana, our first officer to investigate animal crimes, who inspired author Earl der Biggers' popular Charlie Chan series of detective novels. Our welfare efforts aimed more at work animals than pet cats or dogs. Even then, education was a top priority. In a time when animal information was very basic, it fell to those founding members to raise public awareness about the proper care, feeding and humane treatment of animals. The vision of those early pioneers guides the Society's efforts today.

The Hawaiian Humane Society's mission is a joyful one full of challenges and opportunities. Since 1942, our busy shelter in the heart of Moiliili has become a community hub for animal lovers featuring more than 30 programs and services focused on strengthening the human-animal bond: rescuing the abused, engaging volunteers, fighting for better laws and caring for more than 25,000 animals a year.

As an animal welfare organization, the Society is also very much a people business; educating young and old and working to find solutions to the challenges of a diverse and fast-growing community.

We are Oahu’s only open-admissions shelter open every day of the year. We believe there must be a place that all animals are welcome.

We are not affiliated with any other island humane society or HSUS or ASPCA. We help local animals with donations – gifts made by friends like you.



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