(Pu’unene 11/14/23) Having just passed the 3 month mark since the deadly Lahaina wildfires, Maui Humane Society and Lanai Cat Sanctuary have announced a new partnership to solve the unique challenge of finding homes for traditionally “unadoptable” cats that survived the fires. These are cats who lived outdoors in Lahaina and have been rescued from the toxic burn zone, and are now living in temporary housing at Maui Humane Society.
The exchange program transfers 200 unsocialized cats from Lahaina to Lanai Cat Sanctuary and transfers 200 socialized cats to Maui Humane Society for adoption and transfer. MHS has a lifesaving transfer program with shelters throughout the continent who are willing to accept Maui’s animals for adoption.
“This life-saving partnership with Lanai Cat Sanctuary is an innovative solution to a complex challenge – to find live outcomes for the hundreds of outdoor-socialized cats who cannot be returned to the only home they have ever known. Not long ago, these cats and others like them would have been euthanized, and this partnership is a testament to our shared commitment to the most vulnerable survivors of the August wildfires.” says Dr. Lisa Labrecque, CEO of Maui Humane Society.
“For more than a decade, I have advocated for systemic solutions to improving animal welfare in which each organization plays to its strength,” says Lanai Cat Sanctuary Executive Director Keoni Vaughn who has worked 20 years in animal welfare and animal law enforcement. “Rescues and sanctuaries should be designed to save unwanted, unsocialized animals that are not suitable for home placement. Shelters must specialize in high volume adoptions and spay and neuter. This is how lives are saved and we have the resources and experience in socializing feral cats and housing them for life in conditions better than where they originated from.”
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