By 2009, the sanctuary relocated to its current site. The site was a plot of land with access to fresh running water and little else, but it was home. Protecting animals – cats, as well as endangered birds – was the driving force.
In 2014, Keoni Vaughn joined as executive director with plans underway to expand of the sanctuary. Establishing a medical system that would enable each cat to have an individualized care plan was the goal. In 2013, a high-tech mobile veterinary clinic was purchased. It was used for onsite care and services including sterilization, X-ray and assessments in a clinic environment. Veterinary teams with experience in shelter medicine were recruited from Oahu and the U.S. Mainland. Joe Adarna joined as Sanctuary manager in 2019 to take over the day-to-day operations.
In the last few years, the sanctuary has expanded its family of cats. It rescues cats from protected areas where native and endangered ground-nesting birds such as the ‘Ua’u, the Hawaiian Petrel. Cats are also rescued from Lanai City, which is home to 3,000 residents. As a result, the Sanctuary has brought in more than 600 cats since 2015. In 2018, 200 cats were rescued.
Funding comes from vacationers who visit the sanctuary and give to support our mission.
Above all, Lanai Cat Sanctuary believes that cats deserve to live their best life possible. Governed by a board of directors, it is a 501c3 nonprofit led by responsible, ethical and experienced leadership in animal welfare.