Berkeley Humane’s Aloha Dog Project Receives Big Love from Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, known as the Vodka for Dog People, is announcing a special $50,000 grant to Berkeley Humane to support the medical care for dogs arriving from Kona, Hawaii.

San Francisco Bay Area Nonprofit Awarded $50,000 Grant To Expand Project In 2023

February 20, 2023

Contact: Jeffrey Zerwekh
Executive Director 

What is the secret ingredient to transporting shelter dogs from Hawaii and getting adopted in Berkeley? Yep. It’s vodka. Not just any vodka. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, known as the Vodka for Dog People, is announcing a special $50,000 grant to Berkeley Humane to support the medical care for dogs arriving from Kona, Hawaii.

Kona’s public animal shelter is small and can quickly become overwhelmed by the volume of stray and surrendered dogs brought into the shelter daily. Overcrowded shelters are challenging situations, which often puts animals at risk. To ensure these dogs are able to find loving families, Berkeley Humane is calling on tourists and business travelers flying out of Kona to volunteer to escort dogs to Berkeley Humane in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they will get a fresh start in finding a new home.

“We started a pilot project last year to transport the dogs and it has gone incredibly well,” stated Jeffrey Zerwekh, Executive Director for Berkeley Humane. “However, the cost of providing medical care, vaccinations, microchips, and spay/neuter surgeries have all increased dramatically. Thanks to generous donations from supporters like Tito’s, we’re able to expand the program, ensuring that these dogs receive medical care and are ready to find new loving homes.”

The cost of preparing each dog for adoption can range from $2,000 to $8,000, depending on its overall health and medical condition. To ensure the dogs are healthy and ready for adoption, resources are needed from donors and community partners, like Tito’s Handmade Vodka. For over 25 years, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has supported nonprofits across the country making an impact in their communities, including those caring for our four-legged friends.

“At Tito’s Handmade Vodka, we think dogs make life better, and we owe it to them to find homes that will love them right back,” said Lindsey Bates, Director of Philanthropy Operations at Tito’s Handmade Vodka. “We’re thrilled to team up with Berkley Humane on the Aloha Dog Project and fund the medical care that these 25 dogs need to be adopted.”

For more information about the Aloha Dog Project and how to get involved, please visit


Berkeley Humane is one of the oldest and most trusted animal welfare organizations in the Bay Area. With its origins dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of a dedicated and talented volunteer and staff team, Berkeley Humane intakes animals from municipal shelters around the Bay Area who are often in need of medical care, improved nutrition, enrichment, and lots of love. Learn more at


Tito’s Handmade Vodka was founded by sixth-generation Texan, Bert “Tito” Beveridge. In the mid-nineties, on a plot of land in rural Austin, he built a 998 square foot shack, rigged a pot still with spare parts, and created Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Tito’s corn-based vodka is certified gluten-free. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is distilled and bottled by Fifth Generation, Inc. in Austin, Texas, and is available in Liter, 1.75L, 750ml, 375ml, 200ml, and 50ml sizes. For more information, visit


An important part of the story at Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the innate connection the company has with its canine counterparts. Since the beginning, Tito’s has been committed to rescuing and protecting animals and, through its Vodka for Dog People program has helped better the lives of pets and their families far and wide. Tito’s has teamed up with a number of organizations across the country to transport pets from dangerous situations to safety, giving them a chance to find families of their own. To learn more, visit

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