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Keoni Vaughn

Since 2014, Keoni Vaughn serves as executive director of Lanai Cat Sanctuary. He oversees a staff of six who provided daily care for more than 575 cats. Prior to joining the Sanctuary, he served as the vice president and director of operations of Hawaiian Humane Society where he oversaw a staff of 50 ran the admissions, shelter adoptions and partnerships, lost and found and animal care services at Hawaii’s largest shelter, where more than 30,000 animals would arrive in need every year. Before that, he served as head of the organization’s investigations and rescues division where he busted puppy mills, fought for stronger animal protection laws and worked with prosecutors and police to bring abusers to justice.

Keoni has rallied a following to Lanai Cat Sanctuary’s social media platforms through innovative content and engagement, as well as working with travel media including Bored Panda, L.A. Times, Expedia, Huffington Post, Buzz Feed and Country Living to create videos that have gone viral with multi-million viewership. He has positioned the sanctuary as the number one attraction in Lanai as voted by the users of Trip Advisor.

Keoni serves on the Board of Directors for CrimeStoppers Honolulu and is a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation. Born and raised in Waimanalo on Oahu, he lives with his two rescued street cats and his wife Jacque and son Hunter in Honolulu.

Content by Keoni Vaughn

  • Blog Post

    Finding sanctuary

    Can sanctuaries be a tool in our cat toolbox? An expert shares five top tips.

    From the outside looking in, managing the Lanai Cat Sanctuary sure looks easy. Erect a fence, construct some shelter, landscape, open the doors and call it kitty paradise. Not a month goes by that someone doesn’t ask me: “How do you set one up? I want to do this in my community.” The truth is that animal sheltering is complex, costly and requires expertise in a wide spectrum of disciplines including shelter and herd health management and medicine, nonprofit leadership, fundraising and animal welfare. It’s not as easy as it looks.

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