Lanai Cat Sanctuary offers free food, music and fun for 10th anniversary party
by Keoni Vaughn, Executive Director
Can you believe Lanai Cat Sanctuary has been a part of your community for 10 years? We’ve come a long way over the years and couldn’t have done it without the lokahi (harmony and unity) of the community and with the help of many generous donors. To show our appreciation, join us on Saturday, November 2 from 11am to 2:30 pm for a huge celebration. The free event will be held at the sanctuary where we will offer ono food, music, games with amazing prizes and so much more.
The evolution of the Lanai Cat Sanctuary began in 2004, when Kathy Carroll started the island’s first spay/neuter program for homeless cats. She and her volunteers created the nonprofit Lanai Animal Rescue Center in 2008. They devised a makeshift sanctuary in a horse corral owned by the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele with just twenty-five cats, followed by the permanent location in 2009 that still stands today. The organization focused all their efforts on rescuing homeless and abandoned cats, and changed their name to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary in 2015. Over the years, more than 2,000 cats have been sterilized, preventing thousands of kittens from life on the streets and allowing our endangered birds to thrive. In addition, we have found homes for more than 350 cats through our adoption program. We have more than tripled the size of the outdoor sanctuary from 10,000 to 45,000 square-feet since 2014.
Donations from our visitors and supporters have increased, enabling the expansion of a brand-new 10,000 square foot area, a 2,000 square foot senior center, and eight treatment centers to allow ill cats to be cared for. Don’t forget, we also have our mobile veterinary clinic to ensure optimal care and spay/neuter services for a population that spans from newborns to geriatric cats.
What we really love is that people from around the world are coming to Lanai. In fact, annual visitors to the sanctuary have increased from 800 in 2014 to now 13,000 people to witness the animal welfare work that is being done. These visitors support our island’s economy and in doing so, support our Lanai families. They’re hearing about us largely through social media and the news. You can visit our website at LanaiCatSanctuary.org to watch where we’ve been featured including CNN, CBS Morning News and People magazine.
The number of cats living at the sanctuary has grown from a mere 350 to now over 600.
We couldn’t be more pleased with these tremendous milestones and look forward to showing you our additional improvements, increasing our capacity to house up to 1,100 cats! Electricity and internet are just around the corner. Once we have internet, we’ll have “kitty cams” so people from around the world will be able to witness the amazing work we do and hopefully will want to pay our island a visit.
If you’d like to volunteer or donate prizes for the celebration, please contact me directly at (808) 215-9066 or Keoni@LanaiCatSanctuary.org
See you then!