Kauai visitors may now be bringing back more than mac nuts and a golden tan from their vacation but a pooch as well.

As part of an agreement between the Kauai Humane Society and a San Francisco animal shelter, residents returning to the Bay Area can take part in an orphan dog escort service. Their furry travel companion most likely came from an overcrowded shelter on the Garden Isle, where they’re bred to hunt wild pigs and often end up as strays once their hunting days are over.

So far, the program’s been a howling success. Since its start in December, a dozen dogs have made it safely over the Pacific; nine of which have already been adopted! The pooch fly direct on Alaska Airlines. Once touching down in San Francisco, they go straight to the adoption facility. The Kauai shelter takes care of the pooch’s airfare and dog crate.

Animal-loving tourists have been jumping at this innovative solution to finding these pups a home. I’ve actually been to the Kauai Humane Society before and couldn’t believe how overcrowded it was. Those sad, puppy dog eyes are plentiful here. It’s truly a heartbreaking sight that can hopefully be lessened by this new program.

It really doesn’t require much extra effort by the tourist. They just need to be at the airport and act as an escort till the dog is checked in. The Bay Area adoption shelter takes care of the rest once the plane touches down. Through this effort, tourists will also be able to give back to the community that provided so much enjoyment on their vacation, and most importantly, feel good about helping to save a dog’s life. Happy T(r)ails!

KAUAI HUMANE SOCIETY • Opens Tues to Fri 8am-6pm, Sat to Mon 8am-4pm • 3 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue, HI 96766 • 808-632-0610

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