On May 4, 2018, the Hawaii Lava Flow Animal Rescue Network (HLFARN) was created and evolved into the Hawaiʻi Animal Kuleana Alliance (HAKA) which has been dedicated to helping the animals of Hawaiʻi Island. Now, three years later, we are coming full circle back to what brought us together in the first place, emergency, and disaster animal rescue.
To celebrate our anniversary, we are delighted to announce our inaugural HAKA Volunteer Emergency Search and Rescue Regiment. We will be sending out invitations in the next few days to our previous volunteers who will be given priority. Next week, we will open the application process to the public on our main HAKA Facebook page , space is limited, so like and follow us for upcoming announcements.
We are also excited to share with you our second project and pilot program in Puna. We are launching an emergency registry for residents with pets and farm animals who may need assistance with evacuating during a natural disaster or emergency. Signing up allows us to prepare for the next disaster by locating residents with animals, organizing transportation, temporary shelter, and animal care during displacement. We were recently awarded a grant from the Puna Strong Resilience Program by the Hawai’i Community Foundation. It has allowed us to jumpstart these projects and we will need to seek additional funding to support and complete training, acquire equipment, and continue logistics for the registry. As a compliment to the registry, we are also creating an emergency volunteer database for people who can help to transport, and temporarily foster displaced animals.
We are preparing for the next inevitable emergency or natural disaster. In 2018, when Kīlauea erupted and destroyed more than 600 homes and killed many animals. There were no plans in place to rescue animals, so we are planning and preparing to help Hawaiʻi Island residents and their animals. We are raising funds for our training cohort. Our goal is to train and certify 30 volunteers in swiftwater, ropes, and large animal rescue; purchase necessary equipment and personal safety gear for our volunteers. The total cost is $80,000.
We can’t express how important and urgent it is for our community to have emergency animal rescue plans in place and people trained to assist. We don’t want to see another animal fall victim to poor planning and the lack of necessary skills. The funds we raise will support that endeavor. Every dollar gets us closer to our goal, please donate and share. The cost to prepare ourselves and Hawaiʻi Island’s residents and their animals is $80,000.