While there’s no understating the human tragedy of the wildfires that have swept across Maui this week (and are still not fully contained), the island’s animal population is suffering as well.
Pets and rescue animals have been burned, displaced and lost—and the island’s Humane Society is asking for help.
“Maui Humane Society is expecting an inundation of hundreds of animals who have been burned, lost during the evacuation process and those in need of critical care due to smoke inhalation,” wrote the Maui Humane Society in an Instagram post. “The fires have left thousands of both humans and animals displaced, causing immense distress and creating an urgent need for solidarity within the community.”
Shelters were nearly beyond capacity before the fires and the organization says it’s desperately in need of both donations and people who can foster animals. While the animals at the shelter are safe, they’re expecting a big influx of displaced and injured animals in the coming days.
If you’re looking to help the island’s animal population, here’s what shelters are asking for.
Donations – If you’re off-island, officials say, the best thing you can do to help is make a donation. The Maui Humane Society has set up a fire relief fund to address the crisis. Any contributions to it are tax deductible, given the organization’s 501c(3) status.
For people who would rather give food, kennels, litter, etc, the shelter has set up a wish list on Amazon.
Fosters – Among Hawaii residents, the shelter is looking for people who can foster dogs. They’re encouraging people to come into the shelter to take an animal temporarily off of their hands as the influx occurs.
Communication and coordination – Because so many people are searching for their lost pets, a Facebook page called Maui Fires Pet Help Group has been set up to assist people in finding their animals and ensuring fur families are reunited.