Meet Hoku, Hawaii’s First Puppy Bowl Player
As a member of Team Ruff, Hoku is the first Hawaiian dog to compete in Puppy Bowl. This American Staffordshire terrier/Catahoula leopard dog mix comes from the Maui Humane Society whose mission is “to protect and save the lives of Maui’s animals, accepting all in need, educating the community, and inspiring respect and compassion towards all animals."
Get to know her before she hits the field for the big game on February 13 at 2P ET on Animal Planet and streaming on discovery+.
From Kennel Beginnings
Siggi, Hoku’s mother, and her 3 siblings came to Maui Humane Society (MHS) as strays. They were shells of dogs – under socialized and fearful. Due to the stressors of shelter life, Siggi gave birth to Hoku and her 6 siblings at the MHS kennels. Hoku and her siblings were a bit timid at first, but her foster families helped her break out of her shell, preparing her for her moment at the big game.
Road to Puppy Bowl
At Hoku’s foster home, she was introduced to Billi, another puppy adopted from MHS in 2020, who became her “coach.” At the time, Hoku was much smaller than Billi, but they would play tug together. Hoku’s foster parent recalls, “One of the first days that we brought Hoku home, Hoku wanted to show her coach just how brave she was. We were sitting next to Hoku and she flew off the couch to tackle Billi. She did the same move off the top stair of the lanai (deck).” Very quickly, Billi and Hoku became a great team and helped Hoku break out of her shell.
Hoku has never traveled further than any other pup for Puppy Bowl. Be sure to tune in to Animal Planet and discovery+ on Sunday, February 13 at 2P ET to see Hoku in action and to see a special “Pup Close and Personal” profile of her during the big game.
Want Your Own Beach Buddy?
MHS hosts Beach Buddies, a life-saving program that allows you to come to the shelter and bring a dog out for the day to explore Maui’s beautiful beaches and terrain. This enrichment program is available for locals & tourists alike.
But tourists don’t have to have their vacation end when they leave Maui – they can bring a piece of the island home with them without Pele’s Curse (you know, the idea that bringing sand, coral, or lava rock back with you will bring you bad luck for life). If you’ve fallen in love with your Beach Buddy, MHS makes it very easy to fly your beach buddy home with you.
Not living in or visiting Hawaii? If you’re on the mainland and see a dog on MHS’ website that you would like to join your ohana, they can work with you on transporting the dog to you.
Learn more about pups like Hoku and MHS’ Beach Buddies program.