The Aloha Escort Shelter Pet Transfer program allows California air travelers returning from vacation to bring back more than just memories.

Vacationers coming home after visiting the garden island of Kauai can return to California with memories, souvenirs and maybe even a shelter dog. Not your typical carry-on item, but one that will be memorable because it will save a life.

The Aloha Escort Shelter Pet Transfer program of Kauai helps save the lives of those unwanted dogs thanks to the help of Bay Area and San Diego residents returning from their tropical vacations.

Air travelers preparing to fly to California or Oregon nonstop on Alaska Airlines after visiting Kauai can pick up a dog who has not been adopted, fly with the pooch back to the mainland and drop them with a shelter representative at the airport when they land.

Since the program launched in 2013, the simple process has helped more than 1,000 unwanted dogs find a forever home. The limited number of homes and families on the small island can make finding forever homes challenging for shelter officials. The Kauai Humane Society is the only shelter on the island and takes in almost 5,000 animals each year.

“Since January of 2013 we have transferred 1,025 animals to various shelters along the west coast,” Kauai Humane Society Executive Director Penny Cistaro said. “We have approximately 14 partners that range in size and frequency of receiving animals. Our dogs are quickly adopted. We attribute this to their unique look, size and amazing personalities.”


Written by Patch Staff, Autumn Johnson

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