Maui puppy adoption with family

Like most people, we watched the devastation the recent wildfires have wreaked on the beautiful island of Maui and its inhabitants. The loss of life, both human and animal, is heart-wrenching.

“As soon as I heard about what was happening, I reached out to my colleagues in the islands,” said Nancy McKenney, CEO of Marin Humane. “It wasn’t known immediately what was needed but soon, we joined fellow Bay Area shelters in creating a plan to bring animals from Maui here to the mainland.”

During and after disasters, it’s critical to create space in animal shelters near the disaster zones to house the pets of those who’ve been evacuated and those who’ve been found stray. That’s the best way of helping them become reunited with their families. To create space, shelters will transfer out animals who were already available for adoption when the disaster hit.

This is exactly what happened in the devastating fires in Sonoma and Napa counties in 2017. Marin Humane transferred all its adoption animals out to trusted partner shelters and rescues to serve as an emergency boarding facility.

The animals coming from Maui would be greeted with open arms and soon, into loving homes.

The airlift

In the wee hours of August 18, exhausted staff and volunteers at Maui Humane Society (many of whom were directly affected by the disaster) said tearful goodbyes to many dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens who were already awaiting adoption.

They lovingly and carefully loaded a plane for a special flight that would take some of the animals to Portland, Oregon and the rest to awaiting shelters in to the Bay Area.

Preparing for their arrival

A banner welcoming a dog named Trixie

Meanwhile, we started busily preparing for the arrival of these very special guests, creating a calm environment for them to decompress after their long journey.
Maui animals photo collage

Welcoming our new guests

A team of staff and volunteers eagerly waited on the tarmac at Hayward airport for this special late night flight and carefully loaded our new charges into our awaiting vehicles.

All the pups ate hungrily when they arrived and most were eager for kisses (and potty breaks).

See news coverage of the airlift and the dogs’ arrival at Marin Humane here.


Finding forever homes

Adopted Maui dogAs of this writing, six of the dogs were adopted, two are available, one is receiving a bit of medical care, and the other is in foster through a very special program: Pen Pals at San Quentin. Dogs in this program are paired with a trained inmate where he’ll get one-on-one attention while working on his manners.

Because we know our friends at Maui Humane Society are going to have a long road ahead of them, all the adoption fees for these animals are being donated back to that shelter.

We are truly honored to be entrusted with the care of these dogs from Maui and are hearts are with all the animals and people of that beautiful island.




Disaster Preparedness

While we’re honored to be in a position to help, the Maui fires are a stark reminder of the need for all of us to include our pets in our disaster plans. Please ensure:

• Your pet has identification. A collar and identification tags should be worn at all times, and pets should be microchipped.

• To crate train your pet. You can train your pets by putting their favorite treat in the carrier and sounding a bell at the same time. Repeat the process every day until your pet comes running at the sound of the bell. The ability to get your pet quickly into a crate is essential.

• If you evacuate, take your pets with you. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily become injured, lost or killed. They can escape through damaged areas, such as broken windows. Animals left to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents. Never leave them tied up inside or outside the home.

• Evacuate early. Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders.

• Prepare an emergency kit in a watertight plastic storage container that includes leashes, collars, tags, medications, photos of your pet, water, and food.