On my recent visit to Hawaii I made sure to take a day trip to Lanai, a place with less crowds, beautiful beaches and where the cats, also known as Lanai’s Little Lions, live.
Kitty paradise awaited at Lanai Animal Rescue Center (LARC) a non-profit community service organization, founded in 2008 whose mission is to assist animals by “providing sustenance, foster homes, shelter, adoptions, veterinary care, spay/neuter services and humane education.”
LARC is reliant on awesome volunteers, staff and donations to help pay for food, supplies, medicine and the shelter, which is growing since they built their “permanent” structure in October of 2009.
What greets you upon arrival is something made of cat lovers and feline dreams. The warm climate allows for an amazing outdoor space full of cat cubicles for sleeping or hiding in, jungle gyms, bridges, baskets and lots of natural elements conducive to kitty happiness like trees and tall grass.
The 15,000-square-foot space is enclosed by a perimeter fence which ensures all cats remain safely inside. All are free roaming except those being newly acclimatized to the group or ones with FIV, who get their own special accommodations within the generous enclosure.
A separate house exists strictly for cats that are being treated for an illness or that will be getting a vet check, this ensures they get the help they need and are easier to find among the 300 – 400 cats currently housed at any time at the rescue center.
LARC is a place where abandoned, abused and stray cats find refuge in peaceful surroundings and where you will find a multitude of cats just hanging out… and getting along. The “litter box” along the perimeter of the enclosure is brilliant, it consists of a home-made mixture that includes local pine tree needles which means there is no odor.
As a tourist visiting Lanai you can opt to get your cat fix daily at LARC’s Pet-n-Purr Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you are staying at the Four Season on Lanai they can arrange these visits for you through the resorts volunteerism program, or you can arrange an individual visit like I did and be lucky enough to have the cats all to yourself. If you live on the Island then becoming part of the LARC community as a regular volunteer is also an option.
If you fall love with one or more cats, this is almost guaranteed, you can elect to adopt/sponsor a cat in place or adopt and bring a cat home – LARC will be able to assist anyone with this process. You can bring cat toys and treats in your suitcase like I did if you visit, or go to their Amazon page and purchase much-needed items there.
Founder Kathy Carrol is supported by many dedicated volunteers and staff who are key to helping LARC run smoothly and who also give the cats lots of love and attention.
Be sure to check out LARC’s Facebook page this month for their auction event to raise money for the cats, there will be some pretty awesome prizes including a 2 night stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort on the island. 🐱