Lanai Cat Sanctuary stands today as a three-acre lush oasis in the midst of miles of nowhere on one of the most remote islands in the United States. There’s no electricity – just a high-tech mobile medical center, a port-a-potty and fresh running water. Its best resources are the industrious and creative people who run this first-rate heavenly haven that relies largely on the charity of visitors to fund care for more than 500 cats. Learn more about how this all began and its philosophy on protecting native birds.
Two cat crazy guys
Executive Director Keoni Vaughn is King of the Cats. He’s worked in animal welfare running the admissions, adoptions, lost and found and animal care services at Hawaii’s largest shelter, where some 30,000 animals would arrive in need every year. Before that, he served as head of the organization’s investigations and rescue division where he busted puppy mills, fought for stronger animal protection laws and worked with prosecutors and police to bring bad guys including hoarders to justice. He might be a crazy cat guy but this guy knows what he’s doing. And it takes a lot of expertise to run a high quality, top-notch sanctuary. Born and raised in Waimanalo, he lives with his two street cats that he rescued from a couple of teenagers who were torturing them, and his wife Jacque, a truly crazy cat lady.
Born on Lanai, Sanctuary Manager Mike is Chief Cat Herder. He oversees a staff of four who clean up after and care for 500 cats in residence. He works with The Pet Doctor on Oahu who flies a team in monthly, along with other specialists that come from the U.S. Mainland, to ensure that the cats get the highest quality medical services from kittenhood to geriatric care. He manages rescues, admissions, health services, and even the food, which comes in on barge weekly. A former Air Force serviceman, he knows how to run a military operation and recently worked in the hotel industry – a purr-fect prelude to caring for the 500 cat guests at the Fur Seasons. He shares his life with his wife Mary.