Thanks to the efforts of Glen Park and Bernal Heights neighbors, dozens of kittens affected by the Maui wildfires last August now call the Bay Area home.
Bernal resident Alena Ja, the Managing Director of Andrea’s Dream Rescue, an animal rescue nonprofit, was personally affected by the fires because her family lives in Hawaii. Worried for the animals, she sprung into action with the help of two Glen Park residents – Kym Sites of Surrey Street and Jessica Bogo of Arbor Street.
Collectively, Alena, Jessica, and Kym have made three trips to Maui to help with animal rescue, according to Bogo, who is the Glen Park Association chairperson for Recreation and Parks.
On the first trip, they rescued missing and injured animals, built “catios” to house rescued cats and coordinated animal foster care on the island.
Because animal shelters in Maui are full of fire victims awaiting reunification with their owners, the women donated their skills to a vaccine clinic, administering vaccines, deworming, and treating cats for fleas, to prepare kitties to fly to the mainland for adoption.
After five days, they returned to the Bay Area with eleven adoptable kittens, nearly all of whom have now been adopted.
Later, the women returned to Maui, bringing equipment and supplies, building housing for displaced animals, caring for burned cats, conducting community outreach to help fire victims find lost pets, and returning again to the Bay Area with ten more adoptable kittens for adoption in the Bay Area.
Many of these Hawaiian kittens are now in Bernal Heights and Glen Park: two have homes on Arbor Street, and several are being fostered there. More are being fostered in Bernal and in Noe Valley, and soon these will be available for adoption.