Animal Rescue Planning Task Force FormedJune 13, 2018, 10:47 AM HST (Updated June 13, 2018, 10:47 AM)
A community meeting was held on Saturday, June 9, 2018, by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Hawai‘i Island Humane Society (HIHS) to discuss initiating an independent assessment of the areas affected by the eruption and ways to improve communication among the various parties including residents, rescue organizations and government entities.
Representatives from various government agencies and animal organizations participated in a planning session with the intent to create an assessment plan, define infrastructure in place and enhance communications.
“We’ve made great progress,” said community meeting organizers, ASPCA Senior Director for Disaster Response Dr. Dick Green and HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker. “Mahalo to everyone providing valuable situational awareness and offering to help with plans and initiatives moving forward.”
A fly over assessment of the eruption areas was conducted on June 11 while two teams completed a ground assessment of the Leilani Estates subdivision. Given the results from the assessment, a response plan is being developed.
Gaining permission and safe access to areas affected by the eruption remains a high priority for the task force. Firm plans and communication are now in place with the various agencies to seek permission to gain safe access to rescue animals and pets.
To initiate a rescue request for your animal or pet call the Hawai‘i Island Humane Society at (808) 498-9475. The HIHS animal and pet rescue hotline will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Hawai‘i Island Humane Society has rescued approximately 150+ animals with nearly all returned to owners and the remainder in foster homes. Hawai‘i Island Humane Society is also exploring ways to enhance capacity at the Kea‘au Shelter and expanding fostering opportunities. Disaster-related animals will be housed at the Kea‘au Shelter for 30 days to allow for reunification with owners.
For up-to-minute information follow HIHS on social media on Facebook @HIHSoc and Twitter @HIHumaneSoc.