Save a Dog’s Life While on Vacation in Kauai

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Outside of travel, one of my personal passions is dog rescue.  These days I don’t get to support the rescue effort as a foster home near as much as I used to thanks to having a young kid and a 14+ year old rescued grumpy husky in the house, but I try to use my wallet to support the efforts as much as I can.

IMG_8157.JPGI also love to look for unique ways to combine travel and dog rescue, and there is one really awesome way that I want to highlight as it combines dog rescue and one of my very favorite islands, Kauai.

If you have a soft spot for dogs in need, and are flying Alaska Airlines to San Diego, Portland, Seattle, or Oakland on a nonstop Alaska Airlines flights from Lihue, you can save a dog for very little effort and no cost!

Remember, one of the best values in points travel is going to Hawaii from the West Coast using British Airways Avios to fly on American or Alaska operated flights for as low as 12,500 Avios each way, so these Alaska routings should apply to many of you!

Each year Kauai Humane Society accepts around 7,000 animals, but they have a limited number of available adoptive homes due to being on an island.  Their Pet Transfer Program helps save lives by sending dogs to mainland shelters with more exposure and high adoption rates.  The Pet Transfer Program has sent more than 400 animals to mainland shelters via Alaska Airlines since the start of the program in December 2012.

Kauai Humane Society

They say the cost of the flight for each dog flying alone is about $400, but if the dog/puppy is accompanied by a passenger, then the dog’s flight is free!  This means they are always looking for travelers on Alaska Airlines who are willing to escort shelter dogs traveling to the mainland.  This literally can save a dog’s life and not require very much effort at all on your part.

I contacted the Kauai Humane Society for details on exactly what a traveler has to do to participate in the program, and they outlined the following protocols (also detailed on their website):

  • Contact brandy at with your Alaska Airlines flight date, time, and destination
  • Kauai Humane Society meets you at the airport “90 minutes prior to check-in” to get the animals checked in for the flight
  • Most of the time the dogs fly in cargo, so there is nothing for you to do during the flight.
  • Once you land, you will go to baggage claim to receive the animal and then immediately turn it over to a shelter volunteer at your destination

If you want to get involved with the Kauai Humane Society on your Hawaiian trip, but aren’t flying back to the mainland on an eligible Alaska flight, then you can still participate with their Shelter Dog Field Trips program where you can “check out” a dog for the day in order to help socialize the dogs, get them some exercise, and hopefully you can also have a little fun with your dog-for-the-day.  They will also help get the dog back to the mainland with you in case you fall in love and want to adopt your dog-for-the-day friend!

Thank you in advance to anyone who is able to fit this type of “traveling dog rescue” into their vacation itinerary!  If this idea sounds so awesome you feel inspired to plan a trip around it to Kauai, here are some resources to get you started.

2013 Kauai Trip Reviews:

Grand Hyatt Kauai Part 1 (Check-in, overview, the room)

Grand Hyatt Kauai Part 2 (Grand Club, Camp Hyatt, Spa)

Grand Hyatt Kauai Part 3 (The pools)

Grand Hyatt Kauai Part 4 (On-site family activities)

Family Friendly Activities in Kauai

2014 Kauai Trip Reviews:

United 777-200 Business Class to Hawaii

St. Regis Princeville Overview and Junior Suite Review

St. Regis Princeville Pools, Beach, and Family Activities

Family Friendly Activities on the North Shore of Kauai

Grand Hyatt Kauai Oceanview Suite

St. Regist Princeville vs. Grand Hyatt Kauai

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  1. Thank you for mentioning this. I had no idea they offered this. I will be going to Kauai in June and since I am using my British Airways miles there is a chance I might pick up a Alaska Airlines flight.

    If it doesn’t work out I will still look into the program for the field trip. My son is 11 and he would love to have a field trip day with a dog!

    We already have one rescue dog and the only thing that has kept us from rescuing another is the fact we travel so often. I am lucky enough to have family that will watch my dog but they can’t take in another during our trips! They already have 4 rescues of their own. Not to mention 3 cats!

  2. Besides the goodness of heart…(which I’m all over) is there any way to monetize this? Is any part tax deductible, etc.?

  3. While this is not my personal passion, I really applaud you for making it yours. Maybe listing the other Humane Societies on the other islands would also help. Honestly, I’d never even considered this before, but would gladly do this if circumstances permitted. I live in an area that exports dogs to areas of the country that fix their animals, and think this program is great. Help an animal for no cost or difficulty? A no brainer, I’d think.

  4. This is an amazing opportunity. Thanks for sharing! On a smaller scale, we helped out by dropping off the beach gear we bought for our vacation at the Humane Society thrift shop on our way to the airport. Practically brand new beach chairs, anyone? 🙂

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