Helping animals on the Island of Hawaii ‒ Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being of Hawaii's unwanted abandoned, abused or otherwise neglected cat and dog companion animals and feral cats. Their services include rescuing, fostering, provision of food, medical care and safe sheltering of these creatures until they can permanently placed into caring and responsible homes or allow them to live out their lives at the Sanctuary.
The sanctuary was founded by Mary Rose Krijgsman out of a deep concern for animals. She began volunteering at an animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah in December 1999 and subsequently continued with formal training in establishment of an animal sanctuary.
Along with several like-minded individuals, Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary was founded on 7.5 acres of land in Kurtistown, Island of Hawaii near Hilo, where the volunteers constructed the catteries and dog kennels and built cisterns to capture rainwater on the undeveloped property. By January 2002, 50 dogs and 75 cats then had homes.
Fast forward to present day 2014 and RFAS is typically sheltering about 250 cats and 85 dogs at any given time that represent the unwanted, abandoned, abused or otherwise neglected companion cats and dogs and feral cats of the island.
The sanctuary receives approximately 300 calls per month from residents wanting to surrender their pets due to economic problems or moving from the area. When they are at full capacity they try to place as many animals as possible into foster care homes, or provide temporary supplies of pet food so that the owners will keep their animals at home with them. The sanctuary encounters many unexpected major medical and surgical bills from for rescued injured animals and/or senior dogs that have been left behind.
Because they rely solely on donations, a grant from SPCAI’s Shelter Program will help to alleviate some of the financial burden they incur from these circumstances.