Maui partners with Oregon Humane Society to find animals new homes

While devastating fires swept through Maui's communities, the Humane Society on the island quickly recognized the urgent need for help.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 7:55 AM PDT
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MAUI COUNTY Hawaii (KPTV) – While devastating fires swept through Maui’s communities, the Humane Society on the island quickly recognized the urgent need for help.

While the fires continued to burn, the organization began reaching out to the global charity Greater Good Charities and the Oregon Humane Society for support in accommodating animals that required rescue from the affected areas.

This ambitious endeavor involves a lot of moving parts and various groups working together to relocate over a hundred shelter pets from Maui to the shelter in Portland, Oregon.

SEE ALSO: Kaanapali community sets up supply hub for Maui fire survivors

Jenny Miller, representative of the Maui Humane Society, said, “When we don’t have any more room, that’s it. We’re the only shelter on the island.”

Before the devastating fire reached Lahaina, the Maui Animal Shelter was already overcrowded, with many kennels housing two dogs instead of one.

Greater Good Charities, a global nonprofit with a mission to help people, pets, and the planet, answered the call with a big plan.

Partnering with Southwest Airlines and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, they organized an airlift operation. A donated plane and crew from Southwest Airlines were employed to transport carriers for the animals to Portland, along with supplies for both the shelter and humans in need.

Jenny Miller emphasized the importance of supporting both the pets and their owners who had lost everything in the fire, saying, “They literally ran out with nothing on their back, and it’s great to be able to provide the humans with the support they need as well.”

SEE ALSO: Residents dealing with water issues following wildfires on Maui

Approximately 150 dogs and cats are set to travel to Portland on the same plane used to transport supplies. They will then be received by the Oregon Humane Society to be set up for adoption.

Noah Horton, COO of Greater Good Charities, explained, “These are highly adoptable dogs and cats that were already in the shelter. By moving them somewhere they’ll be quickly placed and adopted, we’re creating space to accept an influx of pets.”

The goal of this emergency airlift is to provide immediate support while contributing to the island’s long-term recovery efforts. Horton highlighted the dedication of those involved, saying, “We all work here because we don’t want to do anything else. And we would do anything to help these animals. It’s all we care about.”

A licensed veterinarian will accompany the pets on the flight to Portland, ensuring their well-being throughout the journey. Once they arrive, they will receive follow-up medical care and assessments before being made available for adoption.

More information available here.