Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF), animal rescue following Maui fires

Guardians of Hope Amidst the Flames: Animal Welfare Charities in the Battle Against the devastating Maui fires

As the devastating Maui fires engulf the island’s urban landscapes, a silent and often overlooked tragedy unfolds – countless animals find themselves trapped, frightened, and in desperate need of rescue. In these moments of chaos and crisis, it is the unwavering dedication of animal welfare charities that emerges as a beacon of hope.

The frequency and intensity of urban wildfires have surged in recent years, leaving communities grappling with unprecedented challenges. As flames consume homes and disrupt lives, the impact on our animal companions cannot be underestimated. Pets, livestock, and wildlife are thrust into a fight for survival, often with no means of escape. This is where animal welfare charities step in as the unsung heroes of disaster relief, braving the infernos to rescue and care for the creatures who cannot fend for themselves.

However, animal welfare charities often encounter two formidable obstacles. Firstly, access to the affected areas can be denied, if not recognised as a first-responder, hindering the ability to reach and rescue animals in distress. This logistical challenge can mean the difference between life and death for countless creatures.

Secondly, the financial burden of emergency response can be overwhelming for local charities, which often operate on tight budgets. The costs of transporting, sheltering, and providing medical care for displaced animals can quickly skyrocket, stretching their resources thin. Thankfully, this is where the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) can offer a much-needed lifeline for those on the frontlines. As a grant-giving charity, DDAF has been instrumental in providing vital funds to non-profit animal charities across the US. Through their support, these local organizations can access the resources needed to navigate these challenging circumstances, ensuring that no animal is left behind in the face of disaster.

Bob Bashara, CEO of DDAF, reflects on their commitment, stating, “When we received word of the devastating fires, we immediately reached out to local rescue organizations on the island to see how we could help.” He further emphasizes that it’s not just the animals benefiting but also the humans who love them, noting, “Often in tragedies like this, where people lose everything, they turn to the comfort of their beloved pets.”

Among the organisations immediately earmarked for help by DDAF are the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) and Save Maui Cats (SMC). HARF, as first-responders, swiftly transported pet food, water, and medical supplies into the disaster zone during the initial days after the devastating fires around Lahaina. They provided shelter, care, and facilitated the reunification of displaced pets with their grateful owners.

For the past 17 years, Save Maui Cats has been tending to the island’s cat colonies, feeding approximately 400 individuals while advocating a TNRM (trap, neuter, return, manage) program to help manage population numbers and welfare. SMC, although not a first responder, has tirelessly attempted to access as many affected areas as possible to provide much-needed support. The dedication of these volunteers is remarkable, considering that eight of them had lost their own homes in the fires.

It’s evident why these two animal welfare organizations were selected for grants by the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Like all DDAF grantees, these non-profit animal welfare organizations are unwaveringly dedicated to our defenceless and much-loved animal companions.