Because Hawaii is home for us, and we adopted the super-awesome, Miss Kylie from a shelter there, we found this story wonderful and worth sharing. And it was especially interesting to find it on a Colorado website (that’s where we live now), coloradoan.com:
Travelers give Hawaii dogs second chance on mainland
“The lanky, charcoal-gray dog with a distinctive, wiry hairdo would stand out in most other animal shelters, but no one gave him a second look on Hawaii’s island of Kauai.
The Kauai Humane Society since December has been reaching out to tourists and others traveling to California and Oregon to see if they’re willing to check some extra luggage — one of the island’s many stray or abandoned dogs.
When a traveler agrees, the shelter pays a reduced rate of $100 to fly the dogs on Alaska Airlines to get them to shelters in Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore., where most get adopted within a couple of weeks. Dogs can also make the trip as cargo at a more expensive rate.
Shelter officials attribute some of the program’s success to the uniqueness of the animals. Kauai’s only shelter gets a lot of stray and abandoned dogs derived from hunting breeds used for stalking feral pigs on the island.
The animals can languish for months at Kauai’s shelter. But once they’re sent to the mainland, the dogs are snatched up quickly because they’re different from others normally offered for adoption.
“Some are kind of funny looking, unusual looking,” said Laura Fulda, vice president of marketing and development at the East Bay SPCA. “They tend to be a little shy, very sweet, well-behaved and have had some training, and they are friendly toward other dogs.”
Grady was brought to Kauai’s shelter in November by an owner who was moving away. He didn’t get much attention at first, shelter operations manager Brandy Varvel said.
“He sat there, and I never saw a single person look at him,” Varvel said.
But at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland, it was love at first sight when 46-year-old Martin Sprouse saw the 50-pound dog on the shelter’s website.
Sprouse, who designs modern furniture for a living, was waiting when the shelter opened its doors the next morning.
By the way, in Hawaii a mixed breed dog, a.k.a. mutt, like Kylie is called a “poi dog!”