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About the East Maui Animal Refuge

also known as the Boo Boo Zoo


Sanctuary for Injured and Orphaned Animals – Love Truly is Helping the Helpless

The East Maui Animal Refuge (EMAR) began in 1977 as a unique therapy program for Suzie Schwab, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sylvan, her husband, noticed that her caring for an injured bird gave Suzie the strength to fight her illness, so he began bringing home more animals in need of her loving care.

Incredibly, the love Suzie showered upon the animals contributed to her recovery from cancer. Consequently, her therapy program developed into EMAR, a unique rehabilitation center with 300 animals being cared for at any given time. Because many of the animals have come to EMAR with injuries or “boo boos” of one type or another, EMAR is also known as the “Boo Boo Zoo.”

After 40 years of caring for her boo boo babies, Suzie passed away in July, 2018. She spent her life helping the helpless. Her compassion and love for the animals inspired and sustained EMAR’s mission. EMAR was born from her love of life and her love for the animals.

We continue Suzie’s mission everyday as we protect and nurture our animal ohana, our family of animals. Dedicated and committed volunteers work tirelessly to sustain our organization and mission. Many of our volunteers have been with us for over a decade.

EMAR is a no-kill, non-profit rehabilitation sanctuary for injured and orphaned animals. If you would like to support this life-saving work, please make a donation. Thank you!

Our Mission


The East Maui Animal Refuge, also known as the Boo Boo Zoo, was established to provide care for any animal, domestic, farm or wildlife, in distress placed in our trust, when no individual or other organization is available to provide such needed care. This care is to be provided at no financial charge to the individual or group who rescued said animal, and any financial assistance provided is to be given freely as a donation to support the mission of the Refuge.

The Refuge is operated as a volunteer-based, no-kill facility. For religious, moral and ethical reasons, an animal will not be euthanized unless it is determined by the Executive Director, under a veterinarian’s advisement, that the animal is in irreversible pain.

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