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Animal rescue and assessment on the Big Island top priority for these two groups

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KEAAU, Hawaii -

Big Island critters are getting the attention that many have asked for.

The American Society for the Prevention of cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) met to discuss an independent assessment of the areas affected by the eruption, plus ways to improve communication among residents, rescue organizations and officials.

"We've made great progress.  Mahalo to everyone providing valuable situational awareness and offering to help with pans and initiatives moving forward," said community meeting organizers, ASPCA Senior Director for Disaster Response Dr. Dick Green and HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker.

Monday, a flyover assessment was conducted over the eruption areas, with two teams on foot in the Leilani Estates subdivision.  Results help complete the response plan currently being developed.

Permission to gain access to rescue animals and pets are in place with the various agencies. 

To initiate a rescue request for your animal or pet call the Hawaii Island Humane Society at (808) 498-9475.  The hotline will be taking calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Over 150 animals have been rescued and returned to their owners thanks to the Hawaii Island Humane Society.  The rest, remain in foster homes.

The Keaau Shelter will be taking in  disaster-related animals, and housing them for 30 days to reunite with owners.

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