Alternatives to Pet Surrender

We understand that situations can arise that may cause you to question whether keeping a pet is the best option for you or your pet. We also know that the human-animal bond is a strong one, and that keeping that bond intact is usually preferable. It is our goal to keep pets and people together and we offer a variety of resources and programs to help make that possible for you.

Here are examples of the most common reasons why people consider surrendering their pet. If you don’t see your concern listed, please contact our Admissions Center at 356-2285 or our outreach team at

Eviction-related resources

Inability to pay for pet food

If you need temporary assistance feeding your pet, our Pet Food Bank is open and available to you. Since 2010, our Pet Food Bank has distributed food to thousands of pets and their people. Depending on supplies available at the time, we may also have limited quantities of litter, treats, toys, etc. 

Hawaiian Humane’s Pet Food Bank is currently offered two times a week through a walk-up system located at our Mōʻiliʻili campus in the Admissions Center. Pick-up days and times are Tuesdays and Fridays, from 10 am to 1 pm on each day. 

To receive pet food, you will need to complete an application and  show an acceptable photo ID at time of pick-up. View full details about the application and assistance limitations.

Moving or don’t have adequate housing

Finding a pet-friendly rental can be a challenge on Oʻahu. View a list of pet-friendly housing available on the island. Our Outreach team also provides services to houseless individuals who are pet owners. For more information, contact

Behavior issues

If your pet is acting in undesirable ways, we may be able to help. Search our “All About Animals”  resource section for materials prepared for you by our Behavior Manager.

We have also recently partnered with our friends at GoodPup to provide those experiencing behavior challenges with their dog with live 1-on-1 virtual training.

GoodPup provides private training with certified trainers who teach cues and advanced behavior on topics like crate training, barking, begging and jumping. Sign up today to receive an exclusive lifetime discount and GoodPup will make a donation to Hawaiian Humane!

Click HERE for more information on receiving a free week of training and a discount off the lifetime of your membership.

Too many pets/unexpected litter

If you have too many pets or your pet has an unexpected litter, please never abandon your pet or the new litter. We accept all owner-surrendered pets, including litters. Animals legally surrendered by their owners do not have to go through a five-day hold period, so please make sure our Animal Admissions staff knows that your pet is not a stray animal.

Learn more about surrendering pets

Need help rehoming your pet on your own?

There are many people on Oʻahu that are looking for a furry new family member just like yours. Before bringing your pet to the Hawaiian Humane Society, we ask that you consider finding a new home for your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else. This gives you the ability to seek a family that you know will best suit your pet’s needs.

Below are a few tips to help you rehome your pet:

  • Give yourself time to rehome your pet. It can often take weeks or even months to find a new home.
  • Increase your pet’s chances of getting adopted. Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines and well groomed.
  • Market your pet! Create a pet profile that you can use on multiple platforms, such as a flyer to post up at veterinary clinics, pet grooming businesses or boarding facilities.
  • Tell your friends, family and co-workers. Ask them to spread the word! This is often the most successful way to rehome your pet. You never know who may be looking for a companion.
  • Promote your pet online. Post your pet profile on as many rehoming sites as possible. Here are a few to get you started:
    • Nextdoor
    • Facebook
    • Pawposse
    • Instagram
  • Check with local rescue groups. Whether you have a dog or a cat, there are many rescue groups on Oʻahu who may be able to accept your pet. Rescue groups are often a series of foster homes, rather than a high volume animal shelter which can be very stressful for pets that may be fearful or timid. If you feel your pet may be best in a home while waiting to be adopted, this may be an option for you.

Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place, where your pet may be more comfortable and ask questions to screen potential adopters. If your pet has specific medical or behavioral needs, you will want to make sure any new family is able to meet those needs and make that commitment.

Still need to surrender your pet? 

Never abandon your animal. The Hawaiian Humane Society offers compassion and understanding to owners who decide to surrender their pets and a warm welcome to the animals that are being entrusted to our care. Visit our Pet Surrender page for more information on the process and to make an appointment.