K9 Kokua 
est. 2003

In 2003 the economy spiraled and many people began to lose their homes at an alarming rate. Families and single people with children found themselves on the streets with their dog and they were confused, scared and many were unsure where to seek help. There were numerous organizations which helped houseless humans but none which addressed the needs surrounding a family dog. We knew we had to help our community. So many people have fallen upon hardship and when their beloved dog is sick, it can send an already fragile human, spiraling downward. We witness how strong the bonds are between human and dog, especially during tragedy and times of struggle. We see daily, tangible examples of how a beloved dog grounds their human to reality, helping to stave off dark thoughts and depression. 

Our first Volunteers looked forward to working on their ‘days off’. They would pool their money to buy dog food, first-aid supplies and spay and neuter procedures. Slowly, the word began to spread to other people who found themselves houseless with their dog and the need for help grew. What began as helping the entire Waianae coastline, soon expanded to all areas on Oahu and Maui island! Teaming up with amazing dog lovers who have a drive to help dogs is how K9 Kokua became an organization where people gather for the sake of a dog on need and since our inception, we have helped more than 4,100 dogs (and counting). 

Story of our Founder: her love of dogs was evident as a child. 
Beginning at the age of 9 yrs old, she was latchkey kid and her dogs were constant companions. Dogs were at the center of our Founder’s upbringing and having other close family members love and care for dogs kindly, provided her with a solid foundation of examples of what it meant to have respect for animals.
In her young adulthood, she experienced many wonderful experiences, enjoying a fascinating career in the corporate world. However, she also experienced trauma and physical injury. A survivor of domestic violence, she knew how animals are used against a human to hurt them emotionally. Being the mother of a son grounded her to reality, grateful he was not witness to what she endured. Making a conscientious decision to escape the danger, she began to work long, hard hours towards achieving independence. Her commute from Waianae to Honolulu 5-6 days a week was normal for her and nothing overjoyed her more than having her son and dogs with her as often as possible. Some would joke about her inability to want to leave her 3 pit bull mixes home but she could not imagine why anyone would have dogs and not want to share life with them.

It all began with Opu : One morning, along her commute, she noticed a couple with a dog that seemed to be sleeping next to their car in an empty lot. She passed them again on her way home. This dog and his people were on her mind and she told herself that when she drove home the next day and if the people were still there, she would stop to speak to them and offer them some help.
Not wanting to startle or offend them, she approached with pono in her heart and they were so appreciative of her stopping. They told other houseless families with dogs about her help and thus, K9 Kokua’s mission began to bloom and has blossomed into now helping thousands of dogs and their people on multiple islands.