Operation Fire Cat Placement Program

HELP GIVE LAHAINA CATS A NEW HOME

Support displaced Lahaina cats and the cat-caretaker community.
Operation Fire Cat Placement Program (OFCPP) is a collaborative effort between MHS and Neighborhood Cats to save the lives of displaced cats from Lahaina who no longer have a home to return to. By participating in these efforts, not only are you providing these cats a new home, you’re offering peace of mind for their Lahaina caretakers who compassionately cared for them in the past.

Through this non-traditional adoption program, a pair of adopted cats will be placed in a temporary outdoor-adaptive housing enclosure that will allow them to acclimate to their new environment. MHS will place the temporary enclosure on the caretaker’s property and will provide all the material and support needed to make the acclimation process as seamless as possible. We want these cats to have the fulfilling lives they once had, prowling for pests and basking in the sun, and you can help us do this.

 

Operation Fire Cat Placement Program (OFCPP) is a collaborative effort between MHS and Neighborhood Cats to save the lives of displaced cats from Lahaina who no longer have a home to return to. By participating in these efforts, not only are you providing these cats a new home, you’re offering peace of mind for their Lahaina caretakers who compassionately cared for them in the past.

Through this non-traditional adoption program, a pair of adopted cats will be placed in a temporary outdoor-adaptive housing enclosure that will allow them to acclimate to their new environment. MHS will place the temporary enclosure on the caretaker’s property and will provide all the material and support needed to make the acclimation process as seamless as possible. We want these cats to have the fulfilling lives they once had, prowling for pests and basking in the sun, and you can help us do this!

Benefits for the Community

There are a number of benefits that OFCPP aims to provide for the Lahaina community and the growing population of community cats that are in our care at MHS. Unfortunately, thousands of people displaced due to the recent fire in Lahaina are still residing in temporary homes. Many of these Lahaina residents also served as cat caretakers who compassionately cared for community cats throughout their neighborhood. By giving our Fire Cats a new environment to live in, you will be aiding the Lahaina community and paving the way for rebuilding efforts to occur.
These displaced cats will get a new, safer home, and a chance to thrive again in a new environment.
These caretakers, who can no longer care for their beloved cats, are comforted knowing these cats are going to a safer location.
This program creates a pathway for outdoor cats that may not be suitable for indoor living. By creating this population flow, trappers are able to continuously serve more displaced cats throughout Lahaina.
Community members throughout Hawaii are able to take action and serve the displaced cats of Lahaina.

How does OFCPP work?

Step 1: Fill out the OFCPP Application online for MHS to review

Step 2:  If eligible, MHS administers a site-visit at your property to determine if the location is viable for the program

Step 3: Following approval, MHS reaches out to sets up a day and time to build (or place) the agreed upon enclosure

Step  4: Cats are transferred to their new outdoor adaptive home! MHS provides all food, litter, toys, treats, and support needed to make the acclimation period as comfortable for the cats as possible.

Step  5: Cats will remain in their temporary enclosure for 3-4 weeks and will be monitored by the caretaker to determine if/when they are ready to be released. An Acclimation Packet will be given with a release checklist and instructions.

Step  6: At the end of the acclimation period, and after reviewing the release checklist, cats are released from their enclosure and are free to roam the surrounding area – their new home!

Want to help?

Please submit an application to adopt a pair of cats through OFCPP. Due to the specific needs of the cats within this program, please allow seven days for us to review your application and reach out with next steps. We will then contact you to arrange a property evaluation, dependent upon your location on Maui, and begin the matchmaking process. 

Want to help?

Please submit an application to adopt a pair of cats through OFCPP. Due to the specific needs of the cats within this program, please allow seven days for us to review your application and reach out with next steps. We will then contact you to arrange a property evaluation, dependent upon your location on Maui, and begin the matchmaking process. 

OFCPP Resources

Below, please find FAQs, information regarding the acclimation period for these cats, and our OFCPP’s contact information.
FAQS
How does OFCPP work
After filling out the OFCPP Application, MHS will reach out to set up a site-visit where they will do a walkthrough of your property to determine eligibility and placement of the enclosure. Upon acceptance into the program, the MHS OFCPP team will work with you to set a date to build the enclosure and transfer the cats to their new home.

Due to the shy, timid, and unsocial temperament of these cats, we ask that caretakers spend a minimum of 3 weeks acclimating them to their new environments. This involves keeping them housed in their outdoor adaptive enclosure for the duration of this time. In their enclosure, they should have a litter box, food, water, and a den to hide.

We’d like caretakers to tend to the cats daily, including keeping their spaces clean and interacting with them; this will help them get used to the smells and sounds of their new caregivers. Cats will stay where they feel safe and have resources, and this acclimation period is your time to show the cats that they will be fed and cared for in their new home.

Once the acclimation period has ended and the release checklist provided has been reviewed, the cats will be released into their new environment. The OFCPP team will work with you throughout the process and will always be available for any questions or concerns that may arise.

Is there a fee associated with this program?
Thanks to a generous grant provided by Neighborhood Cats, OFCPP caretakers will have no costs incurred during the initial acclimation period. The adoption fee, enclosure, food, and any other supplies necessary to care for the cats during their 3-4 week acclimation period are covered through this grant. 
What is the criteria for a cat to be placed through OFCPP?
These cats are most often unsocial with humans and don’t adjust well to indoor living conditions. Since their home environment is unsafe, and currently under construction, these cats will require a non-traditional adoption process at MHS.

All cats placed through OFCPP will be sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, ear tipped, and receive a health exam prior to placement through the program.

What is the criteria to have an enclosure on my property?
Ideally, candidates for this program will have a safe, quiet, shaded, flat outdoor area for an enclosure to be installed. Several enclosure options will be available to new caretakers depending on preference and space limitations.

Maui Humane Society staff will visit the property to conduct an initial assessment and construct the enclosure. They will provide all new caretakers with food, litter boxes, boxes for hiding, and toys to make their new feline residents comfortable. 

Are cats in the Operation Fire Cat program only those affected by the Lahaina Fires?
Yes, all cats placed through Operation Fire Cat Placement Program have been displaced from the recent disaster in Lahaina. 
Is the program safe for cats?
Yes, Operation Fire Cat Placement Program is safe for all new and resident cats. All cats are sterilized and vaccinated through MHS’s placement process, leading to a healthier community of cats. Sterilized, vaccinated, and well-managed outdoor cats often promote a healthier cat community.
Is this program safe for native wildlife?
Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return (TNVR) is the most effective and humane method for reducing populations of outdoor cats. Through proper management, both cats and native wildlife can share resources in harmony.
What if the cat ends up wanting to live in my house? What are the adoption options available?
As cats become comfortable in their new environment, their behavior may change. It is possible some cats may want to interact more with their human caretakers and attempt to come inside. 

Caretakers of newly social cats are either able to transition them to an indoor/outdoor lifestyle or reach out to our team for other placement options. If caretakers prefer unsocial cats with limited interaction, our team will provide a new candidate for acclimation. Our team will work with you to ensure that the cats are the puurfect fit for your situation.

What if a cat gets sick?
During the first weeks of acclimation, Maui Humane Society staff is available to provide medical assistance for displaced cats. Once cats have been released, caretakers will assume responsibility for their new cats. 
What if my neighborhood has adversity toward outdoor cats?
Maui Humane Society staff members are happy to work with neighbors to find solutions for their concerns. There are discrete enclosure options available for the acclimation process and tips for reducing visibility of outdoor cats.
I can't take cats from the Operation Fire Cat program, but I want to help. What can I do?
Maui Humane Society appreciates your support! The following opportunities are available for community members to assist our Operation Fire Cat Placement Program including:

  • Donate an enclosure for a displaced cat
  • Donate cat food, litter, and/or toys
  • Spread the word through social media

Contact the Operation Fire Cat Placement Program Team

The OFCPP team is here to help guide you through this process. From the application process to set-up to release, we will be there to support you and answer any questions you have.
Call: (808) 877-3680 ext. 265
Email: [email protected]

Thank you Neighborhood Cats!

We’d like to give a heartfelt mahalo to our partner, Neighborhood Cats. Without them and their generous grant, this project would not have been possible. We’re excited that through this project, we are able to support their mission “to improve the lives of the millions of cats living on our streets and support the compassionate people caring for them.”

Donate

Funds raised in the aftermath of the fires are expected to support these lifesaving programs and initiatives for two years, but we expect this disaster’s impact on our community’s pets and people to last much longer. We cannot continue this work without your support. Please make a gift to Maui’s pets.