August 29, 2023

Doris Day Animal Foundation Joins Maui Fire Relief Effort

Los Angeles – As victims of the devastating Maui fires navigate the heartbreak of losing their homes and loved ones and begin the arduous task of rebuilding their lives, Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF), a grant-giving organization, is assisting with the monumental effort.  “When we got word of the devastating fires, we immediately reached out to local rescue organizations on the island to see how we could help,” said Bob Bashara, CEO of DDAF, which funds non-profit animal welfare organizations and programs across the country that directly help animals and the people who love them.  “Often in tragedies such as this where people lose everything, they turn to the comfort of their beloved pets,” continued Bashara.  “We will do everything we can to support the local organizations that rescue and care for animals displaced by the disaster until they can be reunited with their families, adopted into loving homes or released back into the wild, as the case may be.”

While DDAF continues to identify direct ways to help, it has earmarked immediate emergency grants for Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) and Save Maui Cats (SMC).

As first responders, the HARF team brought much-needed pet food, water and medical supplies into the disaster zone in Lahaina in the days right after the fire. Now that FEMA, the Red Cross, and other disaster agencies are on site, HARF is focusing its efforts on providing care and shelter to the many displaced pets as their owners, left homeless, begin to recover and rebuild.  In an interview with CBS Evening News, CEO Dawn Pfendler stated, "We're trying to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint." To make room for owned pets, HARF is working with partner organizations, such as the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego County, California to transport homeless pets already in the local shelter system and give them a second chance for adoption. DDAF's emergency funding will support HARF's significant efforts to care for and hopefully reunite animals with their families.

SAVE MAUI CATS, an all-volunteer organization, has been feeding approximately 400 cats while advocating for TNRM (trap/neuter/return/manage) to manage Maui's cat colonies for the past 17 years. Although many of the burn areas are still off-limits to non-first responders, founder and president Michael Willinsky and his small group of volunteers (eight of whom have lost their homes in the fires), have been tirelessly trying to access all areas they can to find, feed and care for surviving cats. "We are seeing a lot of surviving animals and doing our best to get them out of here," said Willinsky.  DDAF's grant will provide funding for food, carriers and relocation costs.

To learn more about Doris Day Animal Foundation or make a donation, please visit

About Doris Day Animal Foundation

Doris Day Animal Foundation,, is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit charity founded by legendary performer Doris Day in 1978, with a straightforward mission to help animals and the people who love them. As a grant-giving organization, DDAF funds other non-profit causes across the country that directly rescue, care for and protect animals. Some of DDAF's ongoing project funding includes World Spay Day (founded by Doris Day and the Doris Day Animal League in 1995), Duffy Day Life Saving Program, the Doris Day/Terry Melcher Scholarship at UC Davis and Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine, emergency disaster relief, spay/neuter, "Seniors for Seniors" programs and many more.


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