Shelter’s ‘Beach Buddy’ Program Gives Dogs a Day Out and Helps Them Find Forever Homes
“We have had such a positive reaction to Beach Buddies, it’s exceeded our expectations. Visitors often comment that their Beach Buddy experience was the highlight of their trip to Maui,” adoption counselor Rachael Magee told People. The program is a hit with both the volunteers and the dogs. The dogs enjoy the extra attention while out in the sun, and many form a bond so strong on their outing that they come back to the shelter ready to be adopted. Tourists who are visiting the area also have the opportunity to take part in the program. While they usually can’t take the dog’s home, they help the shelter find out more information about the K9’s so they can provide an impeccable match. “The greatest joy for us is seeing a dog who doesn’t receive much attention at the shelter returning from their Beach Buddy outing with a huge smile, often wet or sandy coat and a wagging tail! We love listening to the stories of frolicking on the beach or a fun hike in the forest followed up by grilled steak and a puppuccino,” Magee said. On the walks, they are able to find what the dogs like and dislike, such as car rides or being around kids. According to People, the trips around the island also lead to some pretty cool adoption pictures. “We are also able to capture them in the most ‘adoptable’ light — Beach Buddy participants are wonderful at sending us photos of their dog out and about having fun! This kind of publicity is invaluable,” Magee explained. The Maui Humane Society has several other programs dedicated to helping animals find forever homes. Their Wings of Aloha program is committed to finding homes for pets on the mainland, by “providing free flights to mainland for adoptable dogs and cats.” So far, the program has helped 1,300 animals find forever homes. “You’re saving the animals you’re sending, you’re freeing up space for the other animals, and it’s a great feel-good program for the staff, especially with animals who have been at the shelter a long time,” Laura Forsythe, the head of the program, shared. Check out more on their website here.