paddle out for pets digital journal article

In response to the devastating Maui wildfires, Maui Humane Society will hold a “Tribute Paddle-Out for Pets” Sept. 16 in honor of pets and people lost in the August wildfires.

The paddle-out, planned for 9 a.m. at Olowalu Beach, will provide an opportunity for people to memorialize their pets and loved ones lost in the fires. Dr. Lisa Labrecque, CEO of MHS, explains the event’s purpose: “There has been so much loss and our community remains in mourning; we come together with a spirit of Aloha to support each other and pay tribute to all lives impacted, including beloved pets.”

Maui Humane Society estimates that more than 3,000 pets were impacted by the fires in Lahaina. Many evacuees were separated from their pets as fire spread quickly, including those who could not access their homes due to road closures. In the wake of the fire many homeowners were unaware if their homes or their pets survived.

“The individual stories from pet owners who lost their animals during the fire are devastating,” Labrecque said. “Lahaina residents have been visiting the shelter daily, searching for their dogs and cats. After losing everything, they are putting all hope in the possibility of their pet being alive. In some cases, that’s all they have left.”

Maui Humane Society has been working with local and international organizations to rescue and care for burned pets. Over 1100 lost pet reports have been filed and over 500 service calls to check on pets left in homes have been completed. In the more than four weeks since the fires, 424 animals have come to the shelter from Lahaina. This includes those who were trapped, found by good Samaritans, surrendered, deceased, and in need of medical care. To date, 112 pets have been reunited with their owners. The shelter’s veterinary clinic continues to treat burn victims who are recovering under the care of visiting veterinarians from across the country.

MHS is the only open-admission shelter on the island and the go-to for homeless and surrendered pets that require emergency care. Anyone who has lost their pet can file a lost pet report online or call the Lost Pet Hotline at (808) 877-3680, ext. 9.

Pet owners in need of support can pick up food and supplies from Maui Humane Society’s shelter at 1350 Mehameha Loop in Pu’unene 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week. For additional support or inquiries, contact [email protected].

People can also donate toward a $1 million campaign to match a $1 million gift from the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation. Go to Facebook or before Sept. 27.

Read full article here.