MAUI, Hawaii (KLAS) — Employees at the Maui Humane Society believe thousands of animals are estimated to be affected by wildfires on the island – they and their volunteers are ready.
“Honestly, we are hoping to be inundated with animals,” Katie Shannon, the humane society’s director of marketing, said.
The fires, including the one that destroyed the town of Lahaina, have left pets and other animals stranded. As of Sunday night, the shelter was caring for about two dozen animals: from dogs to cats, birds to a pig. Some are badly burned.
They believe there could be as many as 3,000 lost or displaced, Shannon said.
“It’s overwhelming but the thrive to do it keeps you going,” Cassondra Christman, a volunteer, said. Christman has worked non-stop since Tuesday night, witnessing survival stories.
“All of a sudden, there was a medical car to bring a dog that a firefighter had scooped up and saved from the flames in Lahaina,” she said about an animal brought to the humane society last week.
The organization is working to reunite lost pets with their owners. One dog, Roman, disappeared on Tuesday night during the fire. The shelter reunited him with his owner this weekend thanks to the work of animal control officers, volunteers and his microchip.
Volunteers are also helping animals living in temporary shelters or housing by providing packages of food.
“We’re still very much in this,” Shannon said. “The road to Lahaina is a one-way-in, one-way-out road, and it took four hours for hours for our humane enforcement officers to go 30 miles yesterday.”
As of noon Monday, police in Maui had paused a placard system, which was allowing residents and some volunteers into the devasted area.
The wildfires are the deadliest in modern U.S. history with 96 confirmed fatalities as of Monday.
You can help the effort with a monetary donation at mauihumanesociety.org.