This shelter program offers its canines a day of enjoyable, hanging with a vacationer who’s primed to exit and discover.
By Rebecca Wallick
through Maui Humane Society
Are you planning a Hawaiian trip to Maui? To start with, fortunate you. However second, do you know you possibly can assist shelter canines throughout your time on the island? Maui Humane Society’s Seaside Buddies program offers its canines a day of enjoyable away from the shelter, hanging with a vacationer who had already deliberate to exit and discover.
Shelter canines in all places profit from a break in routine. Even in the very best services — and, sure, even in Hawaii — shelter life is anxious for many canines. Getting outdoor, exercising, and interacting with the world does wonders for these canines’ emotional well being, in the end making them extra adoptable.
How Maui Humane’s Seaside Buddy Program Began
Seaside Buddies began in April 2015 and required a leap of religion, in response to Jerleen Bryant, the society’s former CEO. “The shelter on Kauai had began a program referred to as Shelter Canines on Area Journeys, and it had been going a couple of 12 months; that they had nice success and restricted issues. We held off one other 12 months, asking a lot of questions, [then launched] our personal program.”
For Bryant, the overriding consider figuring out whether or not to go along with the Seaside Buddies program was how this system would profit the animals. She knew that socializing and publicity would enhance adoptions, so determined to provide it a strive.
How Seaside Buddies Works
To this point, Maui Humane Society (MHS) workers and volunteers— to not point out the canines—love this system, which has grown with 5 or extra “Seaside Buddies–accredited” canines obtainable every day.
“Persons are calling on a regular basis to take part,” Bryant says. “This system is now all the time absolutely booked, but when folks ebook a time far sufficient forward, they’ll get in.” With extra sources, Bryant hopes they’ll add extra days per week to satisfy demand, which might be a plus for canines and vacationers alike.
Choosing Your Seaside Buddy
This system is run by a volunteer coordinator who matches canines — each small and massive — with vacationers who’ve signed up on-line. “We select rock-solid, no-red-flags canines,” says Bryant. “As soon as the canines are chosen, individuals who enroll can select amongst them, first-come-first-served.
The shelter has 5 staging areas, the place, amongst different issues, the fortunate canines chosen to take part are bathed earlier than assembly their vacationer and heading out the door.
Happening an Island Journey
All Seaside Buddies exit with particular “Undertake me!” harnesses and leashes, a backpack with provides for the day (together with a towel, water, bowl, poop luggage, treats, and emergency contact information) and an inventory of steered locations to go to. Individuals are inspired to report their outings, and the shelter shares their movies and images on its Fb web page.
Seaside Buddies’ Affect
After the outing, MHS asks members to offer a write-up of their expertise for potential adopters — it’s one other method to assist the shelter and its canines. What’s extra, Bryant’s hope for this system in the end got here to be realized: adoption charges are higher due to the Seaside Buddies canines. “Some folks undertake the canine they took out for the day,” she says.
Maui Humane Society Brings Pups to the Mainland
For these of us who aren’t going to journey to Maui any time quickly, MHS has one other program that includes the mainland. Wings of Aloha is a program by means of which the shelter flies a few of their canines to the mainland, the place associate shelters assist discover them houses.
Wings of Aloha was born out of desperation, in response to Bryant. On Maui, there are much more canines than houses capable of take them in. The island has a inhabitants of roughly 140,000, and the shelter takes in 8,000 animals annually, one-third of that are canines. The shelter is working laborious to regulate the island’s inhabitants of homeless animals, however given the obstacles they face (a finite variety of houses capable of undertake, the difficulties renters face when making an attempt to undertake), the shelter workers requested themselves what MHS may do to deal with the imbalance. The reply? Wings of Aloha was born in 2012, and MHS has shipped lots of of canines to associate shelters on the mainland since.
When Wings launched, Bryant was the shelter’s director of improvement. Earlier than shifting to Maui, she had run a rescue group in Oregon, usually pulling as much as 40 canines at a time from shelters if their lives had been in danger. Transferring giant numbers of canines didn’t faze her. Nevertheless, the price of doing so was an impediment. Fueled by donor cash, Wings of Aloha started by buying airline tickets and crates to move the canines stateside, additionally paying to return the crates, which turned out to be cheaper than shopping for new ones.
How COVID-19 impacted this system
For the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless, this system has modified: because of airline restrictions, together with some airways not permitting pets to fly or limiting the variety of animals allowed on a single flight, there’s a extra thorough course of concerned with transporting MHS canines. In 2022, MHS nonetheless despatched over 600 animals by means of this system, nonetheless, and might nonetheless assist people who find themselves curious about adopting a pet transport that pet house. Go to mauihumanesociety.org to be taught extra info.
Rebecca Wallick, was long-time contributing editor for The Bark journal and retired household legislation lawyer, she lives with two canines and runs mountain trails at each alternative.