A new resource center has been established in Lahaina to serve pets affected by the Maui fires six months ago.
The Maui Humane Society’s Lahaina Pet Resource Center is located at 48 Ulupono Street and provides free pet food, supplies, vaccines and microchip services to owners.
The center also has a weekly mobile veterinary clinic and staff to connect owners with pet-friendly accommodations.
Johnny Lingau, a wildfire community liaison, said the resource center offers hope to pet owners who are struggling with stable housing, especially properties that allow animals.
Lingau said the center’s opening day on Wednesday was greeted by dogs, cats and even a rabbit.
“Everyone who brought their fur babies, we see that ray of hope and positivity,” she told HPR. “Because it’s been six months since we had the fire, and with everyone’s unique situation, a lot of people feel defeated.”
MHS said it has rescued about 800 animals from the Lahaina fire. About 200 animals have been reunited with their families and about 130 have been adopted into new families.
The organization, which hired 15 additional staff members to create the fire task force, currently cares for about 300 “fire cats” along with more than 600 other pets.
Additionally, more than 400 pets stay with their homeless families in hotels.
But Lingao said finding affordable, pet-friendly homes for pet owners has been a constant challenge. MHS is working with local property managers and its federal partners to help find solutions, he added.
“The basic principle is for people to survive with their animals, who have lost everything and everything they have,” he said. “We want to get them a home here in Maui.”
MHS recently received nearly $11 million in fire donations to help homeless animals and their owners.