Click here to learn more.
When planning your Hawaiian vacation, you might want to snorkel, see
volcanoes, maybe attend a luau. Oh, and if you’re stopping on the
island of Lāna‘i, you’re going to want to carve out time to pet some cats.
No, really — just check Trip Advisor. Lāna‘i Animal Rescue Center (L.A.R.C.), founded in 2008, is a top-rated attraction (currently No. 2) on the small island, and
it’s no fluke.
Located just outside Lāna‘i City, L.A.R.C. is an open-air cat
sanctuary that’s home to some 340 cats. Lāna‘i has very few predatory species — not
even the mongoose you’ll find on other Hawaiian islands — and there’s no full-time
veterinarian. Several years ago, the island’s feral cat population had gotten out of control. That’s when Kathy Carroll stepped in.
She and her husband, Mike (who owns an art gallery, which is the current No. 1 attraction on the island; the two attractions swap positions now and again), moved to Lāna‘i from Chicago after celebrating their 20th
anniversary at one of the Four Seasons resorts on the island. (Both resorts now support L.A.R.C. with a voluntourism campaign called the Kokua Project, which encourages guests to visit the sanctuary.) Ten years
ago, a woman brought Carroll, who was an animal lover but not necessarily an activist,
a kitten who would change her life.
“A friend brought him to me before leaving for a flight and
said she wasn’t sure what would happen if she left him. He was a little baby
kitten that was a bag of desperation. We’ve all seen it — anyone in animal
rescue has seen it — he was very malnourished, had an injured leg, fleas. He
was just a mess,” Carroll says. The local vet wouldn’t be back for a week, and Carroll knew
she needed to take action.
“I took the ferry to Maui, got a rental car and found a
veterinarian,” she says. “The kitten is fine now, but he was the catalyst — he
opened my eyes to the plight of homeless cats and kittens here on Lāna‘i.”
When she brought the kitten back to the vet to be neutered a
month later, she began to learn more about the issue. At that time, Lāna‘i had a beloved but part-time vet, Doc Palumbo, for
three hours a week, and there were no local programs for spaying and neutering
strays. The Maui-based vet suggested she get in touch with the Feline
Foundation of Maui, which could lend her traps and teach her how to start
a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program on Lāna‘i.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Rescuers are using drones to locate and
help some of the Texas city’s estimated
one million homeless dogs.
Before you buy chicks or ducklings for
your kids' Easter baskets, make sure you
know what you're getting yourself…
Dr. Marty Becker knows from experience
that it's hard to adjust to children leaving
home and taking family pets…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
The talented Sporting Group dogs will
impress you with their hunting skills and
win you over with their…
Our expert explains why the old formula
that one year of a dog's life equals seven
years of human life isn’t…
Want to find out how well your cat or dog is digesting his food? Well, our vet says the proof is in your pet's poop.
The active and playful Devon Rex’s high cheekbones and slender build make her look like a top feline model.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.