Family Vacation Turned Volunteer Trip: Sitting for a Cause in Kauai
Every two years our family is lucky enough to fly to the beautiful island of Kauai to spend two weeks in sunny Poipu Beach! Kauai is a special place for our family, our home away from home and family vacations there are always memorable. We consistently look forward to our family trip, but this year I was even more excited about it than usual since our last trip to the island opened my eyes to the volunteer opportunities at the Kauai Humane Society. Our last trip resulted in me getting a bit more involved in the rescue community on Kauai and enabled me to help bring two Kauai Humane Society pups to the mainland, Cooper in 2014 and Trooper in 2015.
This trip was both emotionally draining and totally inspiring, complete with lots of highs and a few lows (because with animal rescue, that’s just the nature of the game). I wanted to share with you all a recap of what we were able to do while we were on the island!
First Off: Yes, Our 50% Giving Back Commitment is Real!
The mission of Sitting for a Cause is to help animals in need by giving back 50% of our profits to animal-related causes because we want to do our part to help reduce euthanasia rates in the United States. I’d like to be clear that we have had NO profits this year. As you all know, we just launched our site in March and all our funds have gone to website maintenance, hosting fees, advertising, licensing fees, background check costs, insurance costs, etc. In spite of this, we are so passionate about giving back and helping animals in need that, monetarily during this trip, we:
- Paid the shipping fees for these four cuties to transfer from Kauai Humane Society’s foster program to Kitsap Humane Society in Washington. They transferred on Thursday and were all adopted within 3 days of their transfer.
- Funded the adoption fees for two of the dogs we took on field trips who are still available for adoption at Kauai Humane Society
- Made a donation to Kauai Animal Welfare Society
In total, we donated just shy of $600 to help the homeless pets of Kauai!
Our Time at Kauai Humane Society
We spent a great deal of time at the Kauai Humane Society during our trip since they are the only shelter on the island. They have a fabulous field trip program where you can take a shelter dog out for the day to accompany you at the beach, on a hike, or just for some cuddle time if you are missing your pets back home. This program is phenomenal as it gets the dogs in front of potential adopters, helps them get more exercise, and reduces their kennel stress by getting them out for the day.
Participating in the field trip program was the highlight of our trip! While we stopped by the shelter 11 days total, we participated in the field trip program 9 times and had the privilege of spending time with 7 amazing dogs. After each field trip, we posted about the dogs on our social media accounts and ran Facebook ads in hopes that maybe the perfect family would see them and adopt them. Four of the seven pups we got to hang out with were adopted while we were on the island and three are still awaiting their furever homes. A huge thank you to all the amazing ladies behind the front desk at the Kauai Humane Society for making me feel welcome and always being so insanely kind.
Meeting Part of the Kauai Animal Welfare Society Team
A highlight for me was finally meeting one of the masterminds behind a rescue we profiled about a year ago: Kauai Animal Welfare Society (KAWS)! A few days into our trip, I had the chance to meet Ally Kirk. Ally’s passion for helping animals in need is contagious and all KAWS is able to do to help the animals of Kauai is truly amazing. If you haven’t read our profile on KAWS please be sure to do so!
It Takes a Village
Being part of the animal rescue community can be emotionally draining, especially when you are on a small island with limited homes and resources like Kauai. It truly takes a village, especially in places like Kauai, and I’d like to thank everyone on the island that I met who welcomed me into your world of animal rescue including Marlana, Tracy, Carla, Nastassia, Ally, Ann, Ginger, the terrific Mighty Dog Shasta trio, and everyone else I know I’m missing but deserves so much recognition. You all are inspiring. I have so much appreciation, respect, and love for each of you. Thank you for everything you do to make a difference. The world is a better place because you all are in it.
7 Ways You Can Help
There are lots of ways you can help Kauai Humane Society, KAWS, and other rescues/shelters with their life-saving work:
- Donate to Kauai Humane Society – Consider making a donation to the Kauai Humane Society, especially their transfer program (please call them directly to request your donation be used for their transfer program). With more homes available on the mainland than on the island, transferring pets from Kauai to partner rescues and shelters helps save lives!
- Donate to KAWS – KAWS is in need of donations for medical, shelter, food, and transfer expenses for the animals in their care. They also hope to one day open their own no-kill facility. Donations help them move towards their goal!
- Use Sitting for a Cause – Ok yes, shameless plug here, but by hiring a sitter or pet care professional who is part of the Sitting for a Cause network, you allow us to help do our part to give back and save lives. Please consider using a sitter from our site the next time you need pet care! After all, if you are going to spend money on your pet’s care, why not make sure some of it goes to life saving efforts?
- Contact Alaska Airlines – Alaska Airlines used to offer free transfers for Kauai Humane Society pets to fly to rescues on the mainland when accompanied by a paying Alaska Airlines passenger. We were excited to participate in this program and booked on Alaska Airlines to fly to Kauai for the first time ever this year, but they put the program on hold a few months before our trip. Please write to them or post on their Facebook page, requesting they bring back this program! It is a vital part of Kauai Humane Society’s efforts to save lives, so please let Alaska Airlines know you want them to bring it back!
- Foster – Regardless of where you live, consider fostering for a local pet rescue or animal shelter. Fostering saves lives.
- Volunteer – With limited resources, many shelters and rescues rely on volunteers to make everything run. Consider giving of your time to help the homeless pets in your community (or if you are visiting Kauai, take a dog out on a field trip for the day)!
- Adopt – The next time you are thinking about adding a furry loved one to your family, please consider adopting instead of shopping. There are plenty of wonderful dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens available at your local animal shelter, so please go meet them and give them a home instead of purchasing from a breeder.