The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Beka Compton
The Times 

A tail-wagging' Aloha

One little dog made her way from Kauai to Waitsburg last week, and she's here to stay!


November 5, 2020

Beka Compton

The long election season is finally over and it's time to remember what makes our community the place we love. What can be more heartwarming than the story of two rescue dogs from Hawaii finding forever homes in Waitsburg?

WAITSBURG-Not everyone is as excited to wake up in Hawaii and go to bed in Washington as Lark, the dog.

On October 28, a Hercules C-130 flew more than 600 dogs and cats from the Kauai Humane Society to Seattle's SeaTac Airport, in what is being called the 'largest animal rescue flight in history' by Hawaii's Emergency Management.

The Kauai Humane Society is an open-admissions shelter that takes in more than 3,000 animals each year; however, there are limited adoptive homes since it is an island community. The shelter often turns to mainland humane societies to help find new, loving homes for many of their available dogs and cats. The Kauai Humane Society transfers roughly 800 animals out of state through the A.L.O.H.A Transfer Program, flying over 2,500 miles of ocean to the nearest partnering shelter.

Shelter animals transferring to the continental United States from Hawaii must be spayed or neutered, current on all regular vaccinations, have recent health certificates, individual travel crates, and plane tickets - racking up an average bill of $300 per animal. The transfer program relies strongly on donations.

Once in Seattle, thirteen dogs, and twenty-one cats were transferred to a smaller prop plane and made their final landing in Walla Walla on October 29, where they were greeted by representatives from the Blue Mountain Humane Society (B.M.H.S.).

Lark was one of the dogs that made her way to Walla Walla, where Waitsburg resident Suze Wood spotted her during the live-streamed offloading.

"I spied Lark in her crate on the tarmac, in the live video that Blue Mountain Humane Society posted at the Walla Walla Airport," Wood said. "I immediately inquired!"

Lark couldn't have picked a better human to be spotted by, as Wood has been through the island adoption process once already. In 2013, while attending massage therapy training in Hawaii, Wood met Gracie, a medium mixed-breed, also known as a Lurcher pup who needed to find a special home. Gracie surprised the shelter staff when they discovered that she was deaf. As it would turn out, Lark, who looks like she could be Gracie's sister, is also deaf. Of course, that doesn't stop either pup from making friends with whoever stops to pet them.

The little dog is adjusting well to the Washington autumn, though Wood said Lark was willing to hold off on her morning business the first time she stepped into a frosty yard.

"It was really early in the morning," Wood said while laughing. "She looked at me like 'nope, I can hold it!' I'm going to have to get her a sweater."

As of Tuesday, B.M.H.S. had one A.L.O.H.A transfer dog available for adoption- a wiry little terrier mix they are calling Douglas, as well as a handful of cats and kittens, ranging in age. Head over to the shelter's website,, to check out the remaining adoptable pets, both local and tropical! The shelter is also very active on Facebook and shares donation drives, pet tips, and just plain cute pictures of their shelter pets.

Now, we've saved the best news for last: Lark just completed her three-day home trial with Wood and Gracie. It went as well as one could hope for, and Wood could barely contain her excitement when she announced the adoption process has been finalized, making Lark an official Waitsburg resident!


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