Rising from the rubble: Maui wildfire relief efforts continue

The aftermath of the wildfires that ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui on August 8 revealed a devastated landscape, particularly around Lahaina, a historic town on the western shore of Maui. At least 97 lives were lost, not counting the hundreds of animals that died or were displaced.

Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) teams were finally allowed into the 5 square miles of burn zone in and around Lahaina on August 26. Field teams have been addressing service calls, including trapped injured animals and locating missing pets. This process could take several weeks to months, depending on how many animals remain in the burn zone.

As of the end of September, the Maui Humane Society (MHS) had taken in 546 animals from the disaster. So far, 114 animals have been reunited with their owners while another 156 deceased animals have been recovered. Approximately 270 of the animals rescued were strays. Most of those were cats who sought shelter from the flames in the underground sewers. Fewer than 100 dogs were recovered from the burn zone. Other recovered animals included birds, tortoises, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even a pet pig.

In response to the fire, donations have poured in from around the world. That includes the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), the charitable arm of the AVMA, which has given a $20,000 grant to the MHS and a $10,000 grant to Greater Good Charities for the organizations to recover and treat animals in need. In addition, the Foundation is allocating $19,000 from an estate gift to the Hawaii VMA to assist with the veterinary care of animals in Maui.

View the following photo gallery to learn more about the Maui relief efforts.