Founded on Oahu in 2003, K9 Kokua, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is the sole organization in Hawaii whose primary focus is providing care and emergency services to the most vulnerable animal population in the state- those owned by the homeless, financially destitute, & victims of domestic violence (DV). K9 Kokua educates and assists dogs and owners at beaches and houseless communities on Oahu to stop the cycle of pet overpopulation, abuse, & neglect. Outreach consists of pet owner education on licensing, wellness examinations for dogs, making & transporting dogs to medical appointments, & providing for the dog’s basic everyday needs. Over the past decade, K9 Kokua observed a critical unmet need in our community. With the exception of service & certified therapy dogs, there are no shelters or transitional housing options on Oahu for homeless & DV victims that allow companion animals. This places DV victims in an incredibly difficult situation. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, up to 40% of DV victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about the welfare of their pets when they leave. The 2007 Report to the 24th Legislature, State of Hawaii, by the Department of Health, reports that at a minimum, 2.4%, or 22,000 Hawaii adults experiences DV from an intimate partner each year. The American Humane Association reports 71% of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims. K9 Kokua is seeking support to assist its new ‘Ilio Hale (Dog House) program. When fully implemented, this program will be the 1st of its kind in Hawaii. When DV victims leave their abusive situations, K9 Kokua provides resources with boarding/foster care in a secure home or boarding facility, & will provide medical treatment & behavioral rehabilitation for dogs that have suffered abuse and trauma.
Funded by Oahu, HI (August 2015)