We know that adoption can be tricky - but we want to help you out.
How much is our adoption fees?
Adults (Hawaii/WA/CA)- $150.00.
Puppies (under 9-months, Hawaii/WA) - $150 - $300.
Puppies (under 9-months, California) - $150-$300.
So you’re thinking about adopting a new family member? That’s great! But there are a LOT of things to take into consideration before taking the plunge into adopting a new furry friend.
Is your family ready to adopt?
When considering adopting a new friend, it isn’t always easy. Talk with your family and make sure everybody is prepared and accepting of the new responsibility. You must also consider the new financial responsibility. Are you ready to take on feeding another mouth?
Do you have kids?
If you have kids, it does not automatically disqualify you to be an adoptive parent; it just means you need to pick an animal that is kid friendly. The staff and volunteers can help point you in the right direction as to which animals are kid friendly.
Do you have other pets?
Similar to the children question. You just need to find an animal that will get along well with others. If you have cats, you don’t want a new dog that will terrify your cat. Or if you have a big beautiful macaw, you don’t want an animal that will eat it in one gulp. Once again, ask volunteers for help to point you in the right direction. They know the animals best.
What is your housing situation?
This question is important to consider in order to ensure you find the right fit for your house. Unless you have copious hours of the day to devote to exercising, you wouldn’t want to bring home a super hyper large breed dog into a tiny condo or apartment.
Do you have a yard?
This question is important when adopting a dog. If you don’t have a yard or if you live second floor or above, you’ll have to consider options for your dog to potty throughout the day. You can take them out ever couple of hours, or use potty pads, or the fake grass patches.
Are you ready for the lifelong commitment?
Adopting a new family member is a LIFE LONG commitment, not an “until” commitment. It is unfair to adopt an animal and keep it “until you have a baby”, “until you move off island”, “until you get a job”, “until its an adult and not cute anymore”. If you cannot guarantee you will have the animal for the entirety of its natural born life, maybe you would be better off fostering. It is especially important to consider the cost of flying animals off the island as well as annual vet care. Owning an animal is not cheap by any means.
Do you have the time to deal with an animal that may have issues? Do you have the patience to work through those issues with the animal?
Most shelter animals have had poor past life experiences. Many of the shelter animals have suffered abuse, neglect, and/or malnutrition along with the obvious abandonment by previous owners. Some animals need more help than others need. Some just need basic obedience and potty training. One must be willing to spend the time and have the patience to teach the dog basic manners and that the house is not for going potty. And trust me, it’s hard not to scream when you clean up one pile of pee just to turn around and see another. But that’s the life of an animal parent and in the end, when there are no more puddles, it is beyond rewarding.
SO YOU’RE READY TO ADOPT, WHAT NOW?
So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the leap into adopting a shelter animal. What now? Contact PAWS Hawaii and express interest in an animal to set up a meet to make sure the animal is a good fit for you and your family. Tell them about your home and your life (kids, other pets, housing situation, etc) and they will be able to point you in the right directions, suggesting some animals that may fit your family. We also have adoption events most Saturdays at Petco Kapolei from 11:00a – 3:30p. When you’ve found the animal that you think is right for you, fill out an adoption application for PAWS Hawaii, which can be found here: http://pawshawaii.com/adoption-services.html or in person at the event. Just like when determining if adopting is right for you, there are many factors to take into consideration.
Bring the whole family (including Fido)!
When you go to meet your new potential family member, it is especially important that everyone is a part of the process. See how the animal interacts with you. What is he/she like? Hyper, calm, submissive, dominant? Make sure to pick a fur baby that will fit your home, but do keep in mind that the behavior you see at the shelter is not always the behavior they will exhibit at home. Ask the volunteers for more information. They know the animals best! Make sure you bring your kids! By bringing the kids, you get to see how they interact with the animal, as well as how the animal interacts with them. Sometimes things click, sometimes they don’t. Same goes for Fido. Make sure your furbaby (or furbabies) get along with your new potential member. No, it isn’t always going to work. But it’s best to find out before bringing them into your home. And, by meeting at a neutral location, your dog doesn’t feel like he/she has to defend his home or his humans. If it doesn’t work on neutral territory, it probably will not work at home. If you feel even the least bit uneasy about the decision, sit and think on it, and come back another day. There are always animals looking for loving forever homes.
Ask questions about your new baby! Ask about their past, temperament, age, special characteristics, favorite toys or past times. If you decide to adopt a special needs animal, ask what the requirements are (special diet, daily medication, weekly baths, limited activity, etc). Volunteers spend a lot of time with the animals and have come to know them well. Most would take all of them home if they could! Don’t be afraid to ask. There is no such thing as too many questions.
Make sure the animal fits your lifestyle.
It’s important to make sure the dog you choose will suit your lifestyle. If you are an active person, an active dog would be right for you. However, if you spend most of your day at work and just want to relax when you come home, an active dog may not be the right choice for you. However, if you are the kind of person who wants to go hiking on weekends and jogs daily, you probably don’t want to pick an animal that can’t keep up with you. Make sure to take into consideration your job and home, if you have a hectic home with constant commotion, you probably do not want to pick an older dog or a timid dog that needs to learn to come out of its shell. It’s all about the right fit for you and your household.
Create a safe haven for your baby!
Moving from the shelter to a new temporary home can be hard on some animals, especially those that are timid or who have special needs. Try to create a safe haven for them in a quiet low-traffic area of the home. This doesn’t mean they should be isolated in a room; it just means that their spot should be quiet enough but not isolated, that way they can observe the activities of the household and participate in them as needed. For our new dogs, that means they get their own crate with a blankets and a dog bed in separate corners of our living room. There’s just two of us in the household, and he’s gone most of the day at his job, so it’s usually only me home. By being in the living room, they can observe our behavior, but they aren’t the center of attention. No one goes in their crates, except for them. That means no one reaches in to pull him/her out, or even to pet the dog. The only time I go into our dog’s kennels is to wash their blankets and sanitize the crates. For a cat, this could mean creating a high place with a soft bed and some cat toys. By creating a safe haven, if the animal is allowed to acclimate to its new surroundings at its own pace.
Set rules (and make sure everyone enforces them)
Make sure you have rules clearly outlined for your new baby and make sure everyone in the family enforces them. Trying to acclimate to a new environment is stressful enough without trying to figure out the rules when one person says “yes you can be on the furniture” and the next says “no you cannot!” Determine where the animal is and is not allowed (rooms, on the furniture, in the bed, etc) and what the rules are (must sleep in a kennel at night, can't beg when family is eating, etc) and STICK TO IT! It's only fair to you, and to him, to set rules and stay with them. It makes everyone's life easier in the end.
Set a schedule!
One of the easiest ways to help create good habits is to set a schedule. Try to keep your new pack member on the same schedule from day one if possible. Feed, walk, and play with him/her at regular times. If you are fostering or adopting a dog, try to schedule potty breaks at the same time every day. While it may not always be possible to do this (due to work or other commitments), try to make it as regular as possible. Yes, that means weekends too! This will help the animal acclimate to your home and reduce the number of accidents in your home.
We are committed to finding permanent, responsible and loving forever homes for our rescue pets. Thank you for completing an application which will help us help you find the best match for your family. You must be at least 18 years old to adopt an animal. Please note this does not guarantee approval. Be aware that the adoption process takes several business days for approval. Submission of an application does not guarantee that you will be able to adopt one of our animals. Home visits may be requested prior to approval and follow-up visits may be required as part of the adoption agreement.
Our ONLINE Adoption Application can be found here