Maui Humane Society estimates 3,000 lost animals from fires; working to rescue, treat and reunite them with owners
In the week since multiple wildfires struck across the island, the Maui Humane Society has received 367 reports of lost pets, with more coming in daily.
Dr. Lisa M. Labrecque, DVM, who just began as CEO of the animal shelter on July 19, said in a news conference Monday that there is an estimated 3,000 lost animals due to the fires.
The shelter on Pi’ilani Highway in Puʻunēnē has received 52 live animals from Lahaina, including 12 that are hospitalized in the facility’s clinic with injuries.
So far, eight of the animals have been reunited with their owners and they are working to try to reunite many more.
Anyone with a missing pet or anyone who has found a pet should file a report with the humane society by clicking here or calling humane enforcement at 808-877-3680 ext. 222.
People also can upload a photo and information about a missing pet or found pet to PetcoLoveLost.
The humane societyʻs animal disaster response teams are collecting stray animals and deceased animals, checking for ID and scanning for microchips in hopes of being able to identify the owners.
“We respectfully ask that animals do not be moved or destroyed so we can catalogue them,” Labrecque said. “People are desperate for their pets. Any closure we can give.”
Labrecque said the humane society is working closely with the Maui Police Department on appropriate areas to search for animals and provide services and will expand their locations when they can.
The humane society also has been receiving numerous reports of live animals around the perimeter of the burned areas of the fire. The response teams have set up feeding and water stations in those areas to lure out the animals who may be scared and hiding to efficiently trap them and bring them to the shelter.
Veterinarian triage teams have been set up by the humane society at Napili Plaza and the Lahaina Civic Center to provide medical care to animals who have been injured in the fire, primarily with burns and smoke inhalation. Those teams will be at those locations daily for the near future, Labrecque said.
Veterinarian Jenna Wallace, DVM, also has been providing care for animals from the fire.
“I’ve been sleeping on the ground for four days,” she said. “I’ve been the only vet up here for four days. I’ve been sleeping on the ground. I treated about 45 pets yesterday by myself. … We’re seeing dogs suffer from dehydration, not eating, stress, from being in cars and being exhausted.”
She said: “The donations came from citizens, not the Humane Society. This is all us – Kīhei Vet and myself.”
Wallace said that she had previously tried to get the Maui Humane Society to get involved, but they were hesitant.
“They told us that if you go, then you’re not associated with us. We’re not a part of it,” she said.
So she and a couple others set up their own makeshift vet station, where people show up at all times of the day. Firefighters gave her a tent and they have been stationed and helping animals in Napili Plaza. She connected with the Lahaina Clinic vet and took him to his clinic that was burned down.
“First night we slept on dog beds that were donated,” she said.
On Monday, a humane society veterinarian team began working at Napili Plaza.
The humane society also is providing pet supplies at Napili Plaza and the Lahaina Civic Center, and additionally at Māʻalaea Harbor and evacuation shelters at the War Memorial in Wailuku and Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.
The animal shelter was severely overcrowded before the fires struck. But to make room for the intake of animals from the disaster, Labrecque said staff worked quickly to clear the shelters.
This included transferring 150 cats and kittens to rescue partners on the mainland with the help of Greater Good Charities. There were 115 dogs at the shelter that are now housed in temporary foster homes.
Horses and livestock have been relocated from Kula and the surrounding fire area, where some hot spots are still burning. Labrecque said the humane society has a dedicated team for any animal needs Upcountry.
The field services teams have been providing food and water to horses, sheep, pigs and goats in West Maui and Upcountry. On Monday, they brought a 500-gallon water trailer and three trailers of large animal feed to West Maui.
The humane society also is booking appointments at the shelter to help displaced families with health certificates if they need to leave the island with their animals.
They are currently working seven days a week and on call 24 hours a day.
Maui Now reporter Megan Moseley contributed to this report.