ENCINITAS (CBS 8) – Some San Diegans vacationing in Hawaii are bringing precious cargo back to Lindbergh Field.

The program rescues dogs from Kauai's overcrowded shelters and flies them to San Diego to be adopted.

Three dogs were flown to San Diego Wednesday night, Mitch, an 18-month old Huskie mix, Ann Lee, a 4-year-old Pointer Hound mix and a 5-month old Terrier mix named Beatrix.

The Kauai Humane Society is overcrowded with more than 4,000 animals sheltered each year.

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society started a partnership with the Kauai Humane Society last month where anyone flying direct from the island to San Diego on Alaska Airlines can escort a dog at no cost. The normal cost to transport a pet is $400 per pet.

“They needed help and they asked for help and we can help them,” said John Van Zante, Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesperson.

Four pets are allowed on each flight and each animal that is transported is freeing up kennel space.

“Everyone one of these dogs is saving two dogs,” said Van Zante.

Passengers are considered a ticket holder. Kauai Humane Society, and Rancho Coastal Humane Society does all the paperwork and drops off and picks up the animal at either airport.

“It could be someone going to Kauai on business, it could be a vacation, it could be a stop-over on the way back for business or vacation,” said Van Zante.

Mitch, Ann Lee and Beatrix need a behavior and medical check. Once they are cleared they will be up for adoption.

To learn more about the Kauai program click here.