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MHS Clarifies Adoption Fees

Funds help cover costs for pets with adoption challenges.

May 5, 2011
Jocelyn Bouchard · Chief Executive Officer, Maui Humane Society
In response to the April 21 letter “MHS selling purebreds,” we want to provide accurate information about our adoption fees. The Maui Humane Society’s standard adoption fees range from $50 to $125 for a pet. Adoptions include goods and services valued at approximately $400, including spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, a health exam and more.

Occasionally we charge more or less depending on the circumstances—a common practice at shelters across the nation. When there is great interest in a particular animal, they become a “kokua” pet, and their adoption fee is increased by $25 to $100 on average. This kokua fee helps cover costs for other animals that face more challenges in getting adopted. The kokua funds might cover costs to send an animal off-island for adoption. Or we might decrease or eliminate adoption fees for another pet that has not found a home.

For instance, in recent months we have offered adult cats, which are often overlooked in favor of kittens, free to qualified, loving homes.

The letter writer was incorrect in her statement that MHS is charging hundreds of dollars for purebreds and potential adopters are walking away. On the contrary, every purebred that comes to MHS is not necessarily deemed a kokua pet. In fact, the Weimaraner referred to in her letter was not a kokua pet. However, an extraordinarily cute litter of pug mix puppies were, and all were adopted!

We find that people are very supportive when they understand the purpose for the additional fee, and no animal at MHS is EVER euthanized due to a kokua fee being too hig

Our adoption fees have nothing to do with the “value” of an animal. We believe all pets have equal value and all deserve to be placed in loving homes. If charging more for one animal helps us get another animal adopted at a lesser fee, we will gladly do it. If you have any questions about the policies or work of MHS, please contact us or visit our web site at



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