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On August 8, a combination of severe drought conditions, low humidity, and strong winds caused brush fires on the Hawaiian Island of Maui to spread to more populated areas. The conflagrations quickly spread both inland, and to the historic town of Lahaina located in West Maui. Lahaina is a historic town that was the center of the Hawaiian Kingdom for many years. Many important Hawaiian chiefs are buried in Lahaina and several legends take place there.

Fueled by the winds, the blaze moved quickly. Within hours, the blaze decimated the town and killed many people. The Maui fire is the deadliest wildfire in over a century and has destroyed the majority of Lahaina leaving many people homeless and with only what they managed to flee with. Not only did the Maui fires kill a horrific number of people, but they also killed an untold number of animals and left many others injured or separated from their families.

Due to the speed with which the fire spread, Maui authorities say there was no time to issue evacuation orders. Additionally, emergency sirens were not activated. This gave many people only minutes to flee just ahead of the flames. Some fled by car or on foot, while others leaped into Lahaina Harbor to escape the fire. Communications systems were severely impacted by both the strong winds and the blaze, making it difficult for many to find out if their loved ones had escaped to safety. Even 911 services were unavailable at some times and locations. Currently, the fire’s death toll has reached 93 people. However, heartbreakingly, officials warn that these numbers are expected to continue to rise. There are currently no available numbers telling how many non-human animals were killed in the blaze.

Many displaced Maui residents were able to flee with their animal companions. However, others continue to frantically search for their beloved animals. Some residents were not home when they were forced to flee the fires. Social media posts plead for help locating dogs, cats, birds, and horses

Among these devastating pleas are some heartwarming stories of animals being reunited with their families. Maui Humane Society shared one such story on their Instagram page. Roman was with a dog sitter during the fire. However, as the sitter was forced to jump into the ocean to escape the flames, Roman ran away. Luckily, the pup was found and brought to Maui Humane Society. He received medical care there and was reunited with his family. Other animals have also been reunited with their families after posts to the Facebook group Missing Pets of Maui.

Maui Humane Society is the only open-admission animal shelter in Maui. As news broke about the devastating Maui fires, they issued a plea for fosters to step forward. The shelter has faced overcrowding issues throughout 2023. Nevertheless, they knew they had to open up space for the animals displaced by the fires. Not only were many animals separated from their families during the fires, many require medical care for burns, smoke inhalation, dehydration, and more. Resources for displaced animals and humans can be found on the Maui Humane Society Website. They are providing pet supplies and emergency kits to shelters, and have stations providing veterinary care at Lahaina Gateway and Napili Plaza. Additionally, information is provided on what to do if someone is seeking or has found a lost companion animal. 

Both the Hawaiian Humane Society (located on Oahu) and the Maui Humane Society have issued pleas for donations to the Maui Humane Society. These donations will allow Maui Humane Society to continue to provide housing, medical care, and other Support to the huge number of displaced animals. Although Maui Humane Society is not currently allowing fosters from off-island, they are still asking those located on Maui to take in a foster dog if possible. This allows them to free up space for animals impacted by the fires. Off-island adoptions are still possible. 

Those looking to Donate to Maui Humane Society can do so in several ways. 

Additionally, animal lovers are urged to donate to other relief funds providing support to Maui in the wake of the fires. Overcrowding at Maui Humane Society has been greatly exacerbated by the lack of affordable, pet-friendly housing on the island. Sadly, this lack of housing will only increase in the aftermath of these fires. Providing financial assistance to people recovering from these devastating fires will help keep animals with their families. 

Severe weather conditions such as drought are becoming more and more common due to Climate change. Sign this petition to Help Stop Climate Change! 

Best Things In Life Are Rescued by Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

Best Things In Life Are Rescued by Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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