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Hawaii has too many dogs in need of a home. Fly back to SF with one

A 2022 Aloha Dogs Project pooch | Courtesy Berkeley Humane

Care to pick up a pooch on your return trip from Hawaii? East Bay shelter Berkeley Humane is seeking canine-loving travelers to help transport dogs in overcrowded animal shelters from Kona on the Big Island to the mainland this spring.

The effort, called the Aloha Dog Project, pairs pups in need of a home with tourists and business travelers flying to the Bay Area who can serve as travel companions for the canines on the journey. The program aims to reduce overcrowding in Kona’s small public animal shelter by helping stray and surrendered dogs find new homes. Vodka is also involved, but not in the way you might think.

The project is sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which brands itself as a spirit “for dog people” and recently gave Berkeley Humane a $50,000 grant to expand the project. The dough covers preparation for travel and medical expenses for the pooches, including vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries and microchipping.

While the program covers canine transport, humans have to pay their own way—that’s why the effort asks for volunteers already venturing from Hawaii to the Bay. But having a fabulously furry companion on your next flight may be a priceless, feel-good experience.

Travelers flying direct from Kona on Alaska Airlines are eligible and interested humans can sign up at this form.