Today: April 21, 2024
Today: April 21, 2024

As people fled the fires, pets did too. Some emerged with marks of escape, but many remain lost.

Share This
The Los Angeles Post
August 15, 2023

PUUNENE, Hawaii (AP) — A dog with hind legs bandaged tightly from paw to hip whimpered in pain through a plastic medical cone, chest rising and falling quickly in shallow breaths.

The animal is one of the pets and people bearing marks of their escape from the smoke and flames of Maui wildfires that claimed more than 90 lives and decimated a historic town.

“We have seen animals come through our shelter that have severe, severe burns,” said Katie Shannon, director of marketing and communications at Maui Humane Society. “We have seen dogs that have essentially had their paws all the way burnt down to the bone from running from the fire.”

The deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than 100 years has left hundreds of dogs, cats and other pets lost, injured or dead. An estimated 3,000 animals from Lahaina remain missing, according to the Maui Humane Society, which is now trying to reunite pets with owners and treat the many animals that arrived at clinics wrapped in blankets covering wounds.

“We have had chickens, love birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats,” Shannon said. “We even have a pig here.”

Fueled by dry grass and propelled by strong winds from a passing hurricane, the fires raced as fast as a mile (1.6 kilometers) every minute in one area, forcing people to scramble and flee in harrowing escapes they later relayed to family members who waited in agony to learn of their fate.

The stories of the animals, though, were told by the damage on their bodies.

A cat arrived with singed fur and spots of leg burns. A chicken needed both scorched claws wrapped with thick, blue medical tape.

A clinic worker used surgical tweezers to delicately remove debris from a dog’s paws while another technician cradled the head, rubbed the neck with gentle thumb strokes and spoke calmly into the animal’s ear.

They were the lucky ones. On a Maui street, a dog’s charred body was found.

As the smoke clears and officials survey the scope of loss and destruction, animal welfare advocates are working with the Maui Police Department to enter the burn area in search of lost, injured or deceased animals.

“As those areas continue to widen,” said Lisa Labrecque, CEO of the Maui Humane Society, at a Monday news conference, “we will be able to expand our scope of services.”

Dozens of feeding stations stocked with food and water have been set to draw scared animals out of hiding so they can be tracked and transported to a shelter, where veterinary staffers treat both burn injuries and smoke inhalation cases.

Found animals are checked for identification and scanned for a microchip so owners may be contacted. The Maui Humane Society has asked that deceased animals not be moved or destroyed so they can be cataloged and checked for identification.

“But this is only the beginning,” Shannon said. “People need to understand that we are in the midst of this. And, you know, there is a harsh reality to come.”

The post As people fled the fires, pets did too. Some emerged with marks of escape, but many remain lost. appeared first on The Los Angeles Post.

Popular

Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya pulled away late to win the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday and cement her status as the favorite to defend her gold in Paris

15 people suffer minor injuries in tram accident at Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles

A tram accident at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in Los Angeles has injured 15 people

Ryan Garcia knocks Devin Haney down 3 times and hands his amateur rival his first pro loss

Ryan Garcia knocked Devin Haney down three times and handed the WBC super lightweight champion his first loss, winning the fight by majority decision but not the title because he was over the weight limit

Things to know about the NBA playoffs, which start Saturday

The Boston Celtics had almost no trouble at all with the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs this season, going 35-4 against those squads

Related

In-flight fate: An Unexpected love story from 30,000 ft above the ground

The one ingredient that can make you sick and ruin the charcuterie board

Rediscover Inner Peace and Clarity with a Social Media Break

Could tragedy have been avoided? Doctor dies after allergic reaction to food

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer