Who’s Handling What?
According to the County of Maui, the Maui Humane Society is the main emergency shelter on-island and the go-to if pets require emergency assistance, placement or need to be taken off-island. There are, however, many national and smaller local organizations (detailed below) working independently and in concert with MHS to support recovery efforts.
The Maui Humane Society estimates that 3,000 animals have been displaced by the wildfires. As of Aug. 22, the organization reported that over 1,300 lost pet reports were being processed through its platform and hotline.
People can file missing pet reports online or call MHS’s File A Pet hotline at (808) 877-3680, ext. 9. Those who have spotted an animal that can’t be contained can call the same hotline or file a found report online.
Searching for Animals in the Burn Zone
Emergency response operators have been instructed to report stray animal sightings to the Maui Country Emergency Operations Center, which then provides the info to Humane Society experts. And MHS has been working hand-in-hand with first responders to care for Maui animals found in the burn area and reunite them with their owners.
Prior to gaining access to the Lahaina burn zone, MHS conducted daily searches around its perimeter. Once it was granted permission to enter on Aug. 26, escorted by the National Guard, it did so in a coordinated effort with the Greater Good Charities trapping team and the Hawai‘i Animal Kuleana Alliance. Along with dogs and cats, rescuers have also been finding pigs, goats, chickens, parrots and tortoises, a HAKA representative tells us.
MHS has gone back every day since to continue search and rescue operations. “In addition, trapping teams are spending nights trapping and rescuing animals from within the restricted zone,” says an MHS representative. “These teams continue to find and rescue animals daily.”
According to the Hawaiian Humane Society, all of Hawai‘i’s shelters were already overcapacity before the wildfires. To create space for the immense influx, MHS transferred roughly 130 Maui animals, which were in its care prior to the fires, to Oregon and California shelters. Those shelters include the Oregon Humane Society, Berkeley Humane, the Marin Humane Animal Rescue Foundation, East Bay SPCA, Fremont Animal Services and the Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter.
Hawai‘i-based nonprofit Good Cat Network and Honi Honi Cats Maui together sent 35 cats, also in their care prior to the fires, to Seattle Humane and the NOAH Center in Stanwood, Washington. The Hawai‘i Animal Rescue Foundation has similarly sent animals to San Diego’s Helen Woodward Animal Center, and the Lucky Paws Animal Foundation in Honolulu has received 20-plus Maui cats.