Heartbreaking images have emerged of burnt pets caught up in the devastating Maui wildfires – as crews work to locate missing animals and reunite families.
Maui Humane Society says it has received 367 reports of missing pets since the outbreak of the horrific blazes on the Hawaiian island last week.
The animal charity, based in Pu’unene, estimates that around 3,000 animals are still missing as a result of the ongoing tragedy.
The organization’s shelter on Pi’ilani Highway has already received 52 live animals from Lahaina, including 12 that are hospitalized in the facility’s clinic with injuries.
Eight pets have been reunited with their owners, some of whom have lost everything else.
The hunt for missing pets comes as search crews continue to make their way through the town devastated by the wildfires. Nearly 100 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,000 remain missing.
Maui Human Society says it has received 367 reports of missing pets since the outbreak of the horrific blazes last week
The animal charity, based in Puʻunēnē, estimates that around 3,000 animals are still missing as a result of the ongoing tragedy
The organization’s shelter on Pi’ilani Highway in Puʻunēnē has already received 52 live animals from Lahaina
The Humane Society has asked that volunteers or residents who come across deceased animals not move or destroy them.
‘We respectfully ask that animals do not be moved or destroyed so we can catalogue them, CEO Dr. Lisa M. Labrecque said.
‘People are desperate for their pets. Any closure we can give.’
Speaking at a Monday press conference, Labrecque explained the charity is working closely with the Maui Police Department on appropriate areas to search for animals and will expand its locations when they are able to.
Feeding and water stations have been placed at the perimeters of the burned areas in order to lure out any surviving animals that may be sheltering within.
Teams of vets have also been placed at Napili Plaza and the Lahaina Civic Center to treat injured animals, mostly for burns and smoke inhalation.
‘I’ve been sleeping on the ground for four days,’ Veterinarian Jenna Wallace told Maui Now.
‘I’ve been the only vet up here for four days. I’ve been sleeping on the ground.
Feeding and water stations have been placed at the perimeters of the burned areas in order to lure out any surviving animals that may be sheltering within
Eight pets have been reunited with their owners, some of whom have lost everything else
Twelve pets are hospitalized in the facility’s clinic with injuries including burns and smoke inhalation
All sorts of animals including birds, horses, dogs, cats and goats are being cared for
Franklin ‘Frankie’ Trejos, 68, died trying to shelter Sam, a golden retriever. Both were found dead inside a car
‘I treated about 45 pets yesterday by myself… We’re seeing dogs suffer from dehydration, not eating, stress, from being in cars and being exhausted.
‘First night we slept on dog beds that were donated,’ she added.
Larger animals such as horses, sheep, pigs and goats are also being cared for. Horses and livestock have been relocated from Kula and the surrounding fire area.
Field service teams have provided food and water in West Maui and Upcountry and have brought a 500-gallon water trailer and three trailers of large animal feed to West Maui.
Hawaii authorities updated the death toll on Tuesday to 99 confirmed victims but also warned the figure is likely to double as search efforts continue.
Only three people have been formally identified and the work has been hampered because many of the remains are so badly burned.
The grim developments come as more footage emerged of locals’ desperate attempts to flee the wildfires that spiraled out of control a week ago.
Clyde Wakida is pictured with his wife of 46 years, Penny. He died trying to save the house they built together 35 years ago
Carole Hartley, 60, from Alabama, was one of the first wildfire victims to be identified
A video captured by a resident in Lahaina, the historic town razed by the fires, showed a large group of people clinging to the shoreline as they are engulfed by clouds of ash, embers and smoke.
Denny Yuckert, the man who filmed the video, said the group cowered for several hours, nearly choking on the smoke.
A small number of active-duty U.S. Marines joined the effort to assist Maui’s recovery amid criticism of the response, which residents have branded slow and inadequate.
Crews from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 153 flew active-duty service members from Oahu to Maui on Monday to establish a command-and-control element that will coordinate further U.S. military support.
The Hawaii National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are already on the ground, but a larger U.S. active duty response needs a formal request from Hawaii to begin operations there. The establishment of a cell could signal a wider Defense Department effort is about to begin.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the military wants to help but did not want to rush in personnel without coordination, so as to not create further logistical problems for recovery efforts.
Many who survived have started moving into hundreds of hotel rooms set aside for displaced locals.
Search crews had covered about 25 percent of the search area, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said on Monday. That is up from only three percent on Saturday.
Governor Josh Green previously said that he expects ’10 to 20′ bodies will recovered daily in an operation that’s expected to last around ten days. Around 1,300 remained missing on Sunday, he said.
The blaze that swept into centuries-old Lahaina last week destroyed nearly every building in the town of 13,000.
Around 86 percent of the roughly 2,200 ruined buildings were residential and the value of wrecked property has been estimated at more than $5 billion.