Wings of Aloha - Program Description
Every year, Maui Humane Society accepts over 10,000 animals.
The Wings of Aloha program was created to fly pets to the mainland where there are animal welfare partners and new owners waiting for Maui's homeless pets.
Believe it or not there are animal welfare groups on the mainland who don't struggle with pet overpopulation or lack of adopters the way we do on Maui! The Wings of Aloha Program encourages a strong working partnership with these welfare groups, provides the highest standard for the health and safety of our shelter pets, and gives them the second chance at a long and cherished life that they truly deserve by transferring animals to adoption guaranteed rescues. Maui Humane Society is committed to saving more lives and can do so by relocating some of our animals to places where there is a higher demand for adoptable dogs and cats.
Because all of our pets must travel by air, this program is logistically more expensive to sustain than other types of transfer programs in the states. Transporting each animal is an expense that we cannot afford on our own.
Wings of Aloha – Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Wings of Aloha Fund pay for?
The Wings of Aloha Fund covers flight expenses and the cost of returning air kennels to the shelter. Entirely funded by community contributions, it is only one of many efforts made by Maui Humane Society to improve the lives of Maui’s homeless pets.
How much does it cost to fly a dog or a cat?
The cost of flying an animal varies depending on their size and weight, but generally ranges between $200 to $400 (including the fee for returning the air kennel, which we will continue to use to transfer animals).
Why isn’t this money spent on finding homes locally?
Every effort possible is being made to find forever homes locally, but there are simply not enough available adopters on the island to re-home the thousands of adoptable pets we receive every year. Public education and spaying and neutering pets are long term solutions to this problem, but meanwhile Maui Humane Society is also committed to saving the lives of our shelter pets, today, in any way possible. While we do transfer locally and to other islands, their space is equally limited. Our only other option, due to the fact that we are an island community, is to transfer animals by air to shelters or rescues on the mainland.Our airline partners have generously offered us discounts, but transfer by air is still costly- which is why we rely entirely on community support to keep Wings of Aloha in the air!
How are animals chosen for Wings of Aloha program?
There are several factors we consider when choosing animals for the Wings of Aloha program. In general, we give priority to dogs and cats that have been with us at the shelter the longest, but for whatever reason are not being adopted. While all our animals receive the highest standard of care, some dogs just don’t thrive in the shelter environment and start to exhibit behavioral symptoms over time. If foster care is not available for them locally, transferring them to rescues on the mainland where they will be cared for in a foster home setting is crucial to their well-being.
Where do the animals get sent?
Our Wings of Aloha pets are currently being transferred to participating partners in Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, and Canada.
How often are animals transferred through Wings of Aloha?
Ideally we would like to transfer an average of 10 animals per week- though this is completely dependent on fund availability. When we run out of funds, Wings of Aloha transfers cease.
Which airlines are partnered with Wings of Aloha?
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada are currently offering us discounted rates for animal transfers- a BIG MAHALO to these airlines from all of us here at Maui Humane Society!
I’m involved with a rescue on the mainland and would like to get involved. What’s the first step?
If you are involved in a rescue or foster program and would like to partner with Maui Humane Society for the Wings of Aloha program, please contact our Director of Animal Care and Client Services, Jamie, at (808) 877-3680 ext. 17 or email JFitzpatrick@MauiHumaneSociety.org
What can I do to support Wings of Aloha program?
The Wings of Aloha program is entirely supported by donations from the community- so the best way to help is to donate! While many choose to ‘sponsor’ a dog or cat by donating increments of $200 (the average cost of sending an animal), every little bit helps us to keep Wings of Aloha off the ground.
Another way to help out is by donating airline-approved air kennels of all sizes (we particularly need large sizes). The more kennels we have, the more we can send at one time! If you have an air kennel you would like to donate, give us a call at (808) 877-3680 ext. 17 or email JFitzpatrick@MauiHumaneSociety.org.
When I donate to Wings of Aloha, how much of it goes directly to the animal?
Currently, every cent donated to the Wings of Aloha fund goes toward our animals’ flight expenses, including the return of air kennels (which costs an average of $50, but is still cheaper than buying new air kennels after each transfer). In the future, we hope that eventually the Wings of Aloha will cover expenses that the shelter is currently absorbing, such as staff time spent on transfers (which is significant), and fuel.
Do you have other questions about Wings of Aloha that are not addressed on this page?
E-mail your questions to Jamie at JFitzpatrick@MauiHumaneSociety.org or call (808) 877-3680 ext. 17– we’ll do our best to answer them!