The Maui News: Silicon Valley cat transfer

Collaboration between four organizations in Hawaii and mainland serves as milestone in recovery.

After taking in more than 880 displaced animals from the August 8, 2023, wildfires, Maui Humane Society is continuing to face capacity challenges with cats rescued from the Lahaina burn zone. Thanks to a swift partnership between Maui Humane Society (MHS), the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), Lanai Cat Sanctuary (LCS) and Greater Good Charities, 50 cats have been transferred to the Humane Society Silicon Valley.

This large transport includes cats from Lahaina, cats surrendered to MHS, and cats from LCS. The cats departing MHS and LCS’ care have either been surrendered by their former owners, have not been reclaimed, and/or have no signs of ownership. HSSV, located in Milpitas, CA, will place the incoming cats up for adoption or with local rescue partners. Adoption partners like these are invaluable to MHS, as they are able to reach a wider audience who desire to help a Maui or Lanai cat in need.

MHS’ Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lisa Labrecque, assisted LCS by providing medical exams and health certifications for the cats being transferred. This transfer relieves capacity at LCS, as MHS transferred more than 200 outdoor-acclimated cats from Lahaina as part of a partnership between the organizations. In return, MHS will rehome 200 socialized cats from LCS, including 35 from this transfer of 50 cats to California. Without the support of LCS, the hundreds of community cats from Lahaina would have had nowhere else to go.

Greater Good Charities is a global nonprofit organization that works to help people, pets, and the planet by mobilizing in response to need and amplifying the good. In this large transfer of shelter pets, Greater Good Charities’s Vice President of Pet Transport, Erin Robbins, coordinated the charter flight and supervised the cats on their 5-hour flight from Kahului Airport (OGG) to San José Mineta International Airport (SJC). Greater Good Charities also assisted MHS with a large transport of shelter pets to the continent immediately following the fires to make room for incoming fire survivors.

“Not only does this transport mark a major milestone in our fire response efforts, but it’s also one that is near and dear to my heart because of the collaboration involved,” Dr. Labrecque said. “I began my shelter medicine career at Lanai Cat Sanctuary, and it was there that I found my passion for treating and advocating for homeless animals. This led me to work with Maui Humane Society, later the Humane Society Silicon Valley, and finally back to MHS in 2023. It means the world to me to see these organizations, along with Greater Good Charities, come together for these cats who survived the devastating fires.”

Read the full article here.