For many of us, there’s no greater joy than seeing a happy dog frolicking on the beach. On Saturday, June 15, seven Realtors from NextHome Pacific Properties experienced that joy firsthand when they volunteered for Maui Humane Society’s Beach Buddies program as part of NextHome’s first annual “Luke Day.”

“Luke” is NextHome’s four-legged mascot. Born on June 15, 2014, the French bulldog lives at NextHome Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif., and is the company’s canine ambassador. Last Saturday, in honor of Luke’s birthday, NextHome offices nationwide co-hosted adoption drives, organized dog park cleanups, held fundraisers for local animal shelters, and raised money to support the purchase and training of service dogs.

On Maui, NextHome Pacific Properties Realtors Bonnie Aleman, Michele Andrion, Bill Buffington, Mana Cade, Karin Carlson, Rosie Poree-Hogin and Marilyn Steinmetz took two adoptable shelter dogs, Duke and Wilbur, to Keawakapu Beach for a day of fun in the sun. That morning, Andrion and Carlson met Duke and Wilbur at the Maui Humane Society, where they were given an orientation along with a backpack filled with treats, towels, collapsible water bowls, and leashes. After that, they headed to Keawakapu Beach, where their NextHome colleagues and several friends and family members had set up a table with a donation box and information about the Maui Humane Society. Wearing their yellow “adopt me” collars, Duke and Wilbur were the stars of the show; they were treated to an afternoon of beach walks, belly rubs and head scratches.

And Luke Day was only the beginning. Throughout the month of June, NextHome Pacific Properties will raise funds for the Maui Humane Society online and in person at the Kihei Fourth Friday Town Party on Friday, June 28.

As Maui County’s only open admission shelter, the Maui Humane Society provides vital services to animals and people alike. The nonprofit’s programs include (and are not limited to) high-volume mobile animal surgical clinics to make spay/neuter surgeries more accessible and affordable; enrichment programs for shelter animals; humane education programs; a foster program; adoption events; and the Wings of Aloha program, which transfers animals to adoption-guaranteed rescues and shelters on the mainland.

And then there’s the wildly popular Beach Buddies program, which gives Maui residents and visitors an opportunity to take a shelter dog out for a tail-wagging afternoon adventure on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (given the date of Luke Day, NextHome Pacific Properties was granted special permission to host Duke and Wilbur on a Saturday). The program may be called “Beach Buddies,” but participants can also take a dog on a hike, to the park, or a pet-friendly restaurant. The program is open to participants ages 18 and older and slots fill up three to five months in advance, so it’s a good idea to reserve your outing as soon as possible.

To contribute to NextHome Pacific Properties’ fundraiser for the Maui Humane Society, visit www.facebook.com/donate/2307673216158001 on or before Saturday, June 30, or stop by the company’s information table in front of its Azeka Mauka office at the Kihei Fourth Friday Town Party on Friday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. You can also drop by the office anytime during the month of June to make an in-person donation. Donors who contribute $10 or more will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to Roasted Chiles restaurant.

For more information about the Maui Humane Society, to inquire about donor opportunities, or to learn more about the Beach Buddies Program, visit www.mauihumanesociety.org, email info@mauihumanesociety.org or call 877-3680. Volunteers are always needed to provide temporary care for foster animals—cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs—who aren’t quite ready for adoption or when the shelter is full. Apart from helping prepare them for adoption, fostering frees up valuable space in the shelter to accommodate other animals. The Maui Humane Society is located at 1350 Mehameha Loop in Pu‘unene and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Maui News – June 22, 2019

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