Maui Humane Society Reunites Families After Rescuing Animals From Lahaina Fires


Maui Humane Society is an open admission animal shelter and is the only team on island that accepts any and all domestic animals in need, regardless of whether or not they are owned, surrendered, found, or in emergency state situations. They estimate a count of 3,000 pets impacted by the Lahaina fires-- around 700 of them taken to their center severely hurt or deceased.

KaiAloha Supply created Love Lahaina shirts to support Maui Humane Society’s animal rescue efforts which increased drastically as a result from the fires. KaiAloha Supply was happy to donate $1,000 to Maui Humane Society and gift each member of their team with a Love Lahaina tee. In addition, KaiAloha Supply’s in-store and online proceeds from Love Lahaina go towards Maui Humane Society’s non-profit organization.


“I want to highlight our appreciation for the outpour of community support. To YOU all at KaiAloha! For hooking us up with t-shirts. It may not be a big deal for others, but our staff is SO stoked, you have no idea. It’s heartwarming to feel the support, it’s been a trip,” development director and head of marketing at Maui Humane Society, Jenny Miller said.


During the night of the Lahaina fires, Miller shared that her team went into disaster response mode very quickly for a team that had no previous experience or training for incoming mass casualty. Regardless, they learned how to adjust to critical situations very quickly and still made incredible impacts in the lives of pets and families. Maui Humane Society has been able to support over 500 pets living with their owners, offer free veterinary care through their mobile clinic, and has set up 75 feeding stations in the Lahaina burn zone which they visit and replenish daily for stranded pets. 


The first of many animals that were brought to Maui Humane Society on the night of the fires. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Miller)


Maui Humane Society has a total of 400 cats in their care that were trapped in the Lahaina burn zone and they have had to rent a second building for due to an overflow in capacity. Miller expressed her gratitude for the help they were able to receive from animal search and rescue, disaster response, outside organizations, mass of triage in the field at Lahaina and their shelter, and 41 visiting veterinarians and technicians to assist with the volume of burnt animals. Together, they ensure that animals are properly cared for so that they are ready for adoption or transfer.


Maui Humane Society staff immediately taking care of the first pet that was brought to them. Photographed is a dog named Katniss who suffered severe burns on her stomach, legs, and paws. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Miller)


Their team has been able to provide families the opportunity to reunite with their pets with the help of microchips and specific phone calls identifying their cat or dog. Today, the animals they have at the shelter are ones from Lahaina that have been surrendered by owners who no longer have homes or jobs. "I have a great team fueled by passion and this is what binds us together -- we'd do anything for the animals," Miller said. "Now, in the case of an emergency situation or evacuation, we're able to pack up 300 animals in 20 minutes and get out. I'd say we've definitely made some progress compared to how things were in early August." 


“My most memorable rescue… Wow, there’s just SO many tearjerkers. The most successful and most recent from the Lahaina fires was the night of when everything happened. An ambulance showed up and the drivers said they got a dog from the Lahaina fires in a human ambulance. The dog was red and raw, toes and feet were burnt, stomach was burnt, the dog was in shock. It had black and pointy ears. We didn’t know if she would make it from her own fluids and wounds. This dog was in the clinic for 5 weeks and had bandages changed every day and night. The firefighters that brought her in figured that she was tethered to something since she was wearing a harness, no microchip or collar. They were hopeful that this pup had an owner. Now, she’s fully healed and the firefighters who brought her in in the beginning, 3 of them are now interested in adopting after visiting almost every day. She’s young, energetic, healed, and in a foster home with a trainer. I will always remember her as the very first of many from the Lahaina fires." Jenny Miller 


One of the firefighters that rescued Katniss on the night of the fires, playing outside now that she has made a full recovery. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Miller)