The Helen Woodward Animal Center will welcome more Maui orphan pets Friday night, survivors of the devastating early August fires on the Hawaiian island.
According to the animal center, among those making their way to San Diego are a kitten found in a car’s engine in the Lahaina debris and five Jack Russell Terriers. The six orphaned pets join 18 furry Maui refugees who arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center two weeks ago, with the help of Alaska Airlines.
Each of these orphaned pets come from the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation and each of their transports will open up kennel space for animal shelters on the island. The fires claimed 115 lives, 2,170 acres of the island and displaced almost 3,000 pets, a Woodward Center statement said.
On Aug. 26, Maui County officials allowed animal rescuers into the Lahaina burn zone. There, lost pets were in bad shape and in desperate need of help.
“With more than 350 lost pets recovered within the last two weeks, local shelters simply do not have enough space to hold them, making the transport of orphan animals a crucial part of opening kennel space to assist Maui families,” according to the statement.
The center took in nearly two dozen orphaned animals that called Maui shelters home prior to the fires. Of those initial animals, 11 have already found their forever homes in California.
One small kitten named Engine had made a burned engine block his home for a time.
“They asked us if we could help them out and take on this poor kitten who’s had the hardest start to their life,” said Rachel Hollenbeck, Woodward Center client services supervisor. “These orphan pets have nowhere else to go and deserve a happily ever after. How could we say no?”
Engine, along with five Jack Russell Terriers between the ages of 5 and 11 months will board their flight to San Diego within hours.
The orphaned pets are expected to arrive around 7:45 p.m. Friday night and will be available for adoption as soon as they pass their medical checks.
City News Service contributed to this article.