Even though we aren’t even open yet, we frequently get questions from people asking for help. Here’s some of the most common questions and the answers we currently have.
After we open, this will be updated.
Pōpoki Place is intended to remove the truly feral, unadoptable cats from areas where they can harm our native birds and monk seals, such as the beaches and harbors. We will focus on those cats first. Once we are established and grow in size and financial ability, we hope to have the ability to help all cats no matter what the situation.
Trust us, we want to help you, but the short answer is NO, not at this time. So many wonderful people like you are trying to help cats and we appreciate your efforts. Some are finding cats on the streets and taking the time to tame, feed, spay/neuter and care for them, from kittens to adults of all ages. Others are bringing home kittens they find and raising until they are old enough to be adopted. The saddest requests are from people who are trying to rehome their relatives cats after the owner has died. People also have to move and suddenly aren’t able to take their cats with them. We have heard your passionate pleas and wish we could immediately take them and save them all. But the reality is that even after we are open, we will not be able to help everyone with this kind of dilemma.
First of all, you are their best advocate! Here are options you can use to help you find a new home for your cat:
At first, we will start small to perfect our operations and scale up carefully. We will work with authorized partners and priority will go to feral cats that are pulled from protected native seabird habitats.
Our goal is to operate at a large scale with the capacity to shelter thousands of cats, possibly at multiple sites across the island or even the state.
However, even when we've grown our capacity, the public will NOT be able to surrender cats directly to us. We will work with established shelter partners who will assess surrendered cats for health and behavior and determine which ones are candidates for Popoki Place. Those cats will then be transferred to us through official channels.
We cannot (and should not) capture every stray cat on the island. Many of those cats are safe in their well-managed colonies and are not a credible threat to native wildlife. Clearing out colonies of cats without installing predator fencing does not work. These colonies quickly reestablish themselves.
For all these reasons, a large part of our mission will be to serve as a venue and source of education about responsible cat ownership and TNR. See our Big Picture page for more information about where we fit in.
Our sanctuary will be completely enclosed with escape-proof fencing designed to give the cats the sense of freedom within a secure boundary. There will be low bushes to hide in and small trees to climb. There will be a variety of small huts and places for them to lounge around, both near the ground and high up, in the sun or shade. There will be feeding stations called the Jungle Cat Café where the cats can come to have their meals at feeding time. There will be areas designated for bathroom use filled with pine litter, which is attractive to cats.
YES. All cats that enter our sanctuary will be spayed or neutered before entering. All cats will be seen by a veterinarian to determine if they have any contagious diseases or other illnesses that need to be managed before entering the general population of the sanctuary.
YES. If it is determined that a cat has one of the many diseases that afflict cats, they will be treated by a veterinarian. There will be special enclosures on the property for housing cats who have a disease so they don’t infect the general population.
Once the cats are brought to Pōpoki Place, they can live the rest of their lives there. Every effort will be made to tame them, if they are willing to befriend us. If they don’t want to be tamed, they can still feel free to roam around and live as they wish in the safety of the enclosure. Some cats will be adopted and move to live with their furever families while others will be adopted “in place.”
YES! We would love it! If you find a cat you want to give a loving forever home, it will make us very happy for you and the cat! There will be adoption fees which will help us cover the costs of their medical treatment. See the section, which is coming soon, on Adoption for the fees.
No-Kill means that no healthy cat will be killed strictly because they are “homeless,” unadoptable, or unwanted. Our cats will get the best medical care possible and only use euthanasia as a last resort. We will never let a cat suffer needlessly.
YES! We look forward to welcoming you! Pōpoki Place will be open for a few hours during the day, exact times to be determined. You can come and spend time relaxing in the sanctuary visiting with the cats, as often as you wish. It doesn’t cost anything; however, we welcome donations. There will also be a gift shop for you to enjoy. All donations received will go to the care and feeding of the cats and are tax-deductible. We look forward to having you visit us!
Absolutely! We welcome all volunteers. There will be plenty of tasks to do and your help will be greatly appreciated. As soon as we are ready, we will make a list of volunteer opportunities and post it here and on our social media pages.
We need YOU now to help us build it! Your contributions will go toward our Capital Campaign. No donation is too small or too large. Your donation is totally tax-deductible as we are a 501c3 nonprofit organization!
By joining our mission, you are saying that you want to see Popoki Place become a reality! Your contribution is needed to make our dreams come true.
We can’t do it without YOU!
Of course, as soon as we are open and take in cats, your donation will help with the care and feeding of the cats, which is our ultimate goal! For now, we are in the planning stages which also takes money.
Rest assured, NO donations are going to staff, as we are all volunteers. It is entirely being used to make this vision a reality!
We are working hard to secure a location large enough to be able to scale up as we perfect our operations. In the meantime, we are raising money so that we will be ready to hit the ground running the moment we have land. We estimate it will cost $100,000 to build out and stock up for Phase 1. If we have to purchase land, we will need much more.
Most importantly, we need land and we need to be prepared to spend what we must to secure it. We want to get a piece of property that is big enough that we won’t have to move once we have built it and the cats are settled in.
We are currently working to get available state land. If that works, we will be thrilled and start building immediately. If it doesn’t work out, we will have to look at other ways to secure land. Do you or someone you know have land to donate? We are looking for land with flat spaces that preferably already has utilities on it.
While we are waiting for the land to come, we are getting price quotes on items we will need immediately, such as fencing and building materials. As soon as we get the green light on land, we will order the fencing so it can be shipped here as soon as possible. That’s going to cost a bundle so we need money on hand and ready.
We are working with an architect who will help us design the property. He is also an expert at permitting for building things such as structures, roads and parking. In addition to building the fenced enclosures for the cats, we will build an Admissions Building and Main building that will serve as our Offices, Gift Shop and the Caretakers Hale. We will need money to buy tools, add the storage buildings and prepare the land. We will need paint and painting supplies!
We are designing our merchandise and preparing to have it available for you. This will include t-shirts, visors and hats, totes and other cute things like car magnets.
We will need a laundry room and money to buy washing machines, dryers and storage racks. We will need hales and beds for the cats. We will need food storage.
We will need office furniture. We will need computers, internet and phone service, plus a copier.
We will need some vehicles: a truck to pick up supplies, a van to move cats and a golf cart with a deck for moving things around the property. We might consider accepting donated vehicles if they are in excellent condition.
We will need cat traps and supplies. We will need several stainless steel cages to secure the cats when they first arrive or when they are sick.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into making Popoki Place O'ahu Cat Sanctuary and a lot of funding that is needed to make this happen in the best way possible!
We are grateful that YOU want to be part of making this dream come true!
JOIN US NOW!
Now that you want to join us, please sign up on our mailing list so we can keep you informed when things happen! We promise not to send you lots of junk mail.