Hawaii pet boarders fill up as travel increases

MAPUNAPUNA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Those who are planning a family vacation may have a “ruff” time finding a place to board their furry friend.

Travel is picking up and more folks are dropping their pets off.

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Furever Friends Stay and Play told KHON2 that locals have been boarding their pets more often since the Safe Travels program was dropped.

“That’s when we began getting all the new people calling, ‘Oh, do you have space, I’m finally going on vacation again, I just got a new dog at the beginning of COVID, I haven’t left him yet,” said Alea Hooy, Furever Friends senior animal care specialist.

“Some dogs that we would usually be able to take and accommodate to, we just don’t have the space now.”

Alea Hooy, Furever Friends senior animal care specialist

Furever Friends’ nightly rates run from $50 to $65 depending on the size of the dog, but availability is not a guarantee for a last-minute trip.

“Having to say no to a lot of them just because they want to book too last minute, you know, and stuff like that and we just don’t have the space now,” Hooy said.

There is a similar story over at Alii Animal Hospital and Resort. Some of their single and double suites were empty on Wednesday, June 22 but that just means another pup will fill the slot on Thursday.

“We’re booked out through the summer pretty much, just that’s a lot and then New Years, of course the holidays are already booked up,” said Alii Animal Hospital and Resort Director Matt Malta.

The suites at Alii Animal Hospital and Resort go for $100 to $150 per night and come equipped with cameras so owners can check in on their dog at any time.

Boarders require dogs to be up-to-date on vaccinations and go through a couple of evaluations before being dropped off.

“So, evaluation with us is just showing that they don’t bit us, no showing teeth at us, that they can be pet,” Hooy said. “Come up to us willingly, you know, and then same with the dogs; Play nice with all the dogs.”

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If worse comes to worst and folks can not find a boarding, experts said to consider a dog sitter or staying in a local pet-friendly hotel.

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