Maui, by any standard, is an amazing place to visit.
It is home to some of the world’s top beaches, best accommodations, renowned golf courses, elite spas, a diverse culinary scene and some of the nicest people in the world.
Still, even the most fabulous destination can be a little gloomier for pet owners who have had to leave their four-legged family member at home.
Pet lovers take heart. The Maui Humane Society (MHS) has introduced a new program for pet-deprived visitors who want to interact with and help homeless animals while vacationing on Maui.
Helping Paws Visitor Program
Visitors can offer a “helping paw” at the shelter every Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. Even children are welcome, although they must be 10 or older, and must be accompanied by a supervising parent for the duration of the volunteer session.
“We have visitors stop by our shelter on a daily basis, just wanting to be around the animals,” says Jocelyn Bouchard, CEO of the Maui Humane Society. “Until now, we didn’t have any organized way for them to get involved here, unless they wanted to adopt a pet. As with most animal shelters, we are challenged with limited facilities, funding, and staffing, and we rely heavily upon volunteers. We are excited about these new programs, as they are a win-win-win for all concerned – our visitors who love animals, our staff who appreciate the volunteer help, and most of all our shelter animals who benefit so much from interaction with compassionate people.”
Tripp is “barking for dollars” and wants visitors to know that money they donate to the shelter will be partially matched by the local visitor industry.
Click here if you are interested in making a contribution.[/one_third]
Each half-day session starts with a brief orientation followed by pre-planned activities such as walking dogs, bathing puppies, brushing cats, or playing with puppies and kittens—an important part of their socialization. Outside of animal interaction, visitors who are willing can also help is aciphex over the counter with maintenance, kennel cleaning, gardening, or office work.
Visitors and group planners can also create their own individualized volunteer projects, but must contact the MHS in advance to organize the details.
Wings of Aloha Program
Another way to help? Visitors can also adopt a pet from MHS and take it home as a cherished new member of their family.
“Visitors often fall in love with one of our shelter pets and decide to adopt it,” notes Bouchard. “Of course, we always ensure our animals are going to loving homes, but the adoption application process is simple, and transporting your new pet with you to your home city, even internationally, is usually not complicated.”
As an island community, Maui has a limited resident population and a shortage of homes for orphaned pets. Last year, MHS created the Wings of Aloha program to fly shelter animals to areas in the U.S. and Canada where, working in partnership with local rescue organizations there, the pets are guaranteed adoption into loving homes—particularly in communities with no animal overpopulation issues and thus a high demand for adoptable dogs and cats.
Over the past several months, nearly 200 homeless Maui pets have found families in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Canada through Wings of Aloha.
Although airfare for animals can be costly, if a shelter pet flies under the same reservation as a ticketed passenger, the cost is significantly reduced. Click here if you are looking to adopt a pet.
Travelers need not need do anything but contact MHS in advance to confirm details. MHS staff will meet the passenger at the Kahului airport during their flight check-in process and will handle the check-in of the pet. (The pets do not accompany travelers in the passenger cabin.)
About the Maui Humane Society
The 60-year-old Maui Humane Society (MHS) is a private, non-profit organization and the oldest and largest animal welfare agency on the island. As the only agency on Maui that accepts all domestic animals in need, MHS sees approximately 10,000 animals coming through its doors each year. Its varied services and programs range from adoptions and spay/neuter to cruelty investigations and humane education. The MHS shelter is located in central Maui, on the highway between Kihei and Kahului.
Maui Humane Society