Among the lava evacuees: 13 disabled dogs being cared for at special refuge

(Image: Mandie Rainen)
(Image: Mandie Rainen)
(Image: Mandie Rainen)
(Image: Mandie Rainen)

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the weekend, about 90 pets from Leilani Estates were evacuated to American Red Cross of Hawaii emergency shelters.

Sadly, some still remain in the eruption evacuation zone, while others are staying safely with unaffected community members.

Mandie Rainen operates a non-profit for disabled dogs and lives in the middle of the Leilani Estates subdivision.

She and the 13 dogs from Malamala K9 were forced out by the lava Friday.

Rainen choose not to take her dogs to the shelters because many of their disabilities prevent them from being contained and left alone. The dogs have medical issues, ranging from deafness to PTSD. The smallest is a 2-pound Pomeranian. The biggest: A 120-pound Akita.

"We have way too many," Rainen said. "I wasn't even going to attempt that, since they have so many problems."

Rainen was able to find some place to take refuge with the animals, but it is not ideal conditions. A person she linked up with on Facebook is allowing her and family members to stay in a tent outside a goat pen, where the dogs are currently being held.

"We have tents and tarps," is how Rainen described her current living situation, "and are in nothing but mud."

She was able to go back to her home Sunday on Moku Street and could hear the eruption nearby. She grabbed a few possessions and equipment for the dogs, but not nearly enough to be comfortable.

Rainen is looking for a place to stay with a large fenced in area for the dogs, and space nearby with a roof for her and her family to stay dry.

If you would like to help, you can email Rainen at

This story will be updated.

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