Residents of Hawaii’s Big Island bask on Pacific-lined beaches under canopies of palm trees, but their tropical location isn’t always about cool breezes and coconut water. They also reside on an island with one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Kilauea volcano has had 36 eruptions since 1952. It’s been continuously leaking lava since 1983, but on May 3, Kilauea increased its activity in big ways. Several new lava fissures opened in the ground, and some of the new volcanic eruptions spewed lava over 200 feet into the air. It resulted in an impressive display of geological force, but many families—both two and four-legged—have lost their homes.
Take a look at new photos of the destruction on Hawaii Island here: https://buff.ly/2KBLeMe#HINews #HNN
An entire neighborhood is under mandatory evacuation orders. Residents are finding refuge with friends and at shelters, but families with pets are facing especially hard times. The American Red Cross has already taken in around 90 pets from the affected area, and some families were forced to leave their furry family members behind until conditions were safe enough to go back and retrieve them.
Mandie Rainen is one of the people most affected by the eruptions. She runs a non-profit organization for disabled dogs called Malama K9 and happens to live right in the middle of the evacuation zone. When the orders to leave the area came, Rainen knew leaving her personal pack of 13 dogs wasn’t an option. She has dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes, and many of them have disabilities of some kind. There’s a two-pound Pomeranian and a 120-pound Akita. Their disabilities range from deafness to severe PTSD, and getting them out of the volcano’s path was a number one priority.
Rainen and her family successfully got all 13 dogs away from the active eruption area, but their troubles didn’t end there. After they evacuated, they were faced with the question of, “Where do we go now?” There were limited options for a group of four people and 13 disabled dogs. The best they can do at the moment is a series of tents set up next to a goat pen. Someone kindly offered the area up for their use, but the situation is less than ideal. Rainen told Hawaii News Now,
“We have tents and tarps and are in nothing but mud.”
Rainen was briefly allowed back in her home on Sunday to gather more supplies, but the people and dogs are far from comfortable. She could hear the eruptions as she quickly grabbed what the dogs’ needed, and there’s still no word on when they’ll be allowed back home for good. The lava has claimed 35 structures so far, and she’s still not even sure she’ll have a home to go back to when the eruptions finally stop.
While they wait for updates on their home and hope the lava’s path doesn’t cross onto their property, Rainen and her family are looking for a more suitable place to stay with their dogs. Somewhere with a large fenced-in area and accommodations where four people and 13 dogs can stay dry would be ideal. They’ve also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of their evacuation.
h/t: Hawaii News Now