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Arizona Humane Society Deploys to Assist Maui Wildfire Response

Written by: Arizona Humane Society

At the request of BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Animal Incident Management (AIM), five members of AHS’ Emergency Response Team left for a seven-day deployment to Maui on Wednesday, August 16, where they spent the next several days assisting in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires.

Final Update 8/25:

The Arizona Humane Society’s five-person Emergency Response Team has returned home safely from Maui.

Maui team

Deployments to natural disasters can be unpredictable and emotionally and physically taxing. While the team’s mission evolved and changed while in Hawaii, their advanced training, preparation, and compassion allowed them to provide assistance to both the Maui Humane Society and the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Animal Incident Management initiative while onsite.

Maui team

“I speak for everyone at the Arizona Humane Society when I say how proud I am of this group of individuals who embody our core values of compassion and excellence,” said AHS President and CEO Dr. Steven Hansen.  “Now back home, our Emergency Response Team stands ready to assist with the next call from our neighbors in need, whether near or far.”

Since 2002, the Arizona Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team has responded to more than a dozen natural disasters, including fires, floods and hurricanes both in Arizona and across the country. To learn more or to donate to future disaster efforts, please visit

UPDATE 8/18:
The Arizona Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team arrived in Maui safely on Wednesday night and began their important work.

The team has been assisting the Maui Humane Society, through their partnership with BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Animal Incident Management initiative, with search and rescue outside the burn zone, transporting lost animals, providing critical pet supplies to people in need and assisting with the treatment of injured pets.

Currently, rescue teams in the area are unable to share photos or video, so we eagerly await our Emergency Response Team’s updates via email and text. We will share more as we learn about the next phases of their response.

UPDATE 8/16:

In what has proven to be the nation’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century, the expansive blaze has leveled much of Maui’s historic town of Lāhainā and taken the lives of over 100 people. Both residents and their pets have been displaced by the disaster, with the Maui Humane Society estimating that roughly 3,000 animals have been lost due to the fires.

As Arizona’s designated responder for animals in distress during natural disasters, our Emergency Response Team has many years of experience. You may also remember that AHS has deployed to other national natural disasters in the past, including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey. The advanced training allows the team to provide help where and when it is needed the most. There is no team better suited to help our neighbors in need than our Emergency Response Team.

We will be sharing more information as it becomes available here on our blog and on AHS’ Facebook and Instagram pages. Please keep the people and animals of Maui in your thoughts, and thank you for your support that allows AHS to provide this assistance.

August 16, 2023