Virtues of Volunteering

How to Volunteer at the Hawaiian Humane Society

Maile Morrell, Reporter

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Dave Robinson grasped the leash holding Donnie, a dog up for adoption at the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS), who refused to sit still for a picture. This energetic pup was rescued in January 2018 and was cleaned and taken care of during his time at the shelter.

Robinson, like the over 600 other active volunteers for the HHS, works diligently to care for the various animals that come through the shelter. “I can do dog walking. I help with adoptions. I help wash dogs; whatever they need help with,” said Robinson. “I prefer to walk dogs. They get some time out of here; it helps calm them down.”  

Elaine Uemura a volunteer at the hawaiian humane society, carrying a dog up for adoption. Photo by Jo Ann Mastin.

Elaine Uemura has been volunteering with the Humane Society for about six years. “I’m crazy right? I come every day,” Uemura said. “There’s no such thing as running out of things to do.”

The HHS campus has grown significantly in the past couple of years and construction at the organization signifies development to their already expansive facilities. The non-profit continues to recruit volunteers for various work within the shelter and during special events such as Petco adoptions and the annual PetWalk fundraisers at Magic Island.

“Volunteers do everything for us,” said Humane Educator, Shayna Vi. “They do all different things, that includes: cat socialization. We have people who are allergic to both cats and dogs, but they love animals so they do admin tasks. We have people who just do laundry and grooming.”

Foster care is also an option for individuals who want to temporarily care for an animal in their own homes. When space is tight at the shelter, the Humane Society turns to foster care. “The community would come and pick an animal… and hold that cat, dog, etc. in their house for a couple of days while we manage to get all the other ones adopted, and then they’ll bring them back,” Vi said. Veterinary care, food, litter, and other necessary supplies are provided by the organization. Last fiscal year, 1,759 animals benefited from foster care, “It’s extremely rewarding,” said Vi.  

All volunteering opportunities can be found on their website where applicants can get information about available positions and submit the necessary paperwork. Orientations are completed as training for new volunteers and give participants a chance to practice handling various types of animals. Even children eight to fourteen years old, can volunteer as long as they are accompanied by their parents, forming family teams.  

There’s a job for almost anyone at the Humane Society, and they continually look for volunteers. “We would not be the organization that we are today without our amazing volunteer bank,” said Mandi deSouza, the Humane Education Manager. Being involved with the Hawaiian Humane Society fosters their mission to promote the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals.

To become a volunteer, visit their website: