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Not much is scarier for a pet owner than the realization that a beloved pet is missing. But what happens when a new pet gets lost before even having the chance to become part of the family? One Portland couple experienced this nightmare when their newly adopted cat got loose and went missing before she even made it through the door of their home.
Steve and Cynthia Kostove met and fell in love with Lily, a 3-year-old Persian mix cat, on June 25. They adopted her from the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in Sherwood, Ore., that same day, and the couple was excited to take her home.
The Kostoves were planning a nice night getting to know their new cat. They couldn’t have imagined what happened instead.
While Lily was being moved from the car to their house, the latch on her carrier door came loose. Anxious from the car ride, Lily jumped out of the carrier and ran off into the neighborhood.
After spending some time searching for Lily, Cynthia called CAT for advice. Having only had Lily for a few hours, the couple didn’t even have a photo of her to create “lost pet” posters. The shelter staff helped to ensure that Lily’s microchip information was up-to-date with Steve and Cynthia’s information. They also shared additional tips—such as contacting local animal control agencies, posting lost cat ads online, and putting out tasty food in a humane trap in the hopes that Lily would be found.
Using a photo of Lily that a shelter staff member had taken, the Kostoves put up flyers in their neighborhood. “We’re very lucky to live in a neighborhood of animal lovers who were all very supportive while Lily was lost,” said Cynthia. Despite these efforts, nearly a month went by with no sign of the missing cat.
Then, at around 10:30 p.m. on July 23, a Facebook post went up that read: “This cat is wondering around my neighborhood. Very sweet. Clearly belongs to someone. Female, white and orange Persian. Very petite. Hungry and thirsty! She is spending the night with me because even though I know she must have a home I cannot bear to leave her outside. Neighbor saw her yesterday and asked if she was ours. Will get her scanned for a [micro]chip tomorrow.”
The cat in the photos that accompanied the post looked familiar to a few people. Several CAT staff members messaged the author, Dawn Rossiter, a former CAT employee and current volunteer, to tell her it might be Lily. In the meantime, Dawn saw a lost pet report on the Multnomah County Animal Services website that matched the cat she had found—this was definitely Lily!
Using the contact information from the lost pet report, Dawn reached out to the Kostoves. The couple was shocked, surprised, and grateful.
“Dawn deserves major thanks since she was the one who found Lily and got in touch with us,” said Cynthia. “Lily’s homecoming is like a miracle that I never thought would happen.”
Lily is one of the lucky ones. Each year, thousands of pets go missing across the country. Sadly, only a small percent ever get back home. However, there are ways to help protect your pet from becoming a statistic.
Be Prepared If Your Pet Goes Missing
You can reduce panic and hopefully avoid heartache if you are prepared in the event that your pet becomes lost. Here are four things you can do right now to help protect your pet:
1. Microchip your pet. If you aren’t sure if your pet has been microchipped, take him/her to a local animal shelter or veterinary clinic for a quick microchip scan. If your pet isn’t microchipped, make an appointment to have this done. CAT offers microchipping for owned cats at the time of spay/neuter surgery, and most local veterinary clinics and other shelters offer microchipping options as well.
2. Update the contact information on your pet’s microchip. A microchip is only as good as the contact information listed with it. Connect with your microchip registry to ensure that your contact information is current. If you move or if you take your pet with you to a winter/summer home, be sure to update your contact information with the microchip registry.
3. Identify your pet with a collar and tag. A visible ID tag is your first defense. Without proper ID, someone may think your pet is a stray and take him/her in as their own without first checking to see if he/she has a current owner. An ID tag with your contact information provides a quick and easy way for a finder to reach out to you.
4. Take photo of your pet. In the event that your pet does go missing, a recent photo that shows your pet’s face and body will be useful for creating printed lost pet flyers and posting online lost pet reports.
CAT’s website offers additional advice for tracking down a lost/found pet. For more information, visit: catadoptionteam.org/resources/lost-found-help.
Go back to school with a buddy! During our Cats R Cool 4 Back 2 School special, take up to 75% off adoption fees at all CAT adoption locations!
Thank you for choosing to support the Cat Adoption Team! Your community fundraising activity—whether it’s an event, cause-related marketing (i.e. donating a portion of sales of item/services to CAT), Cat Food Bank drive, or a personal appeal—will make a big difference to cats and kittens!
While we welcome all ideas that help raise positive awareness of CAT, we want to ensure that all activities are lawful and align with CAT’s mission and values. There are some activities that will not be approved. For more information, please review our Community Fundraising Activities Packet and read through the Fundraiser FAQ below. Thanks again!
Q. Who can host a fundraiser to benefit the Cat Adoption Team (CAT)?
A. Anyone! Any individual or group (employees of a corporation, school/university organization, religious group, etc.) can host a fundraiser as long as it is approved by the Communications and Development Manager or Volunteer Manager.
Q. How do I get approval to host an event?
A. Once you have decided the the type of fundraiser you would like to host and when you would like to host it, the first step towards getting approval from CAT is to complete, sign and return the Community Fundraising Activities Packet. We ask that you allow one week (at least 5 business days) for the office to approve your event. During busy times of year, it may take longer to review and approve your packet—we appreciate your patience and understanding!
Q. What kinds of events do people hold?
A. Individuals and groups hold all sorts of events and fundraisers from cat food drives to concerts to Tupperware sales, wine tastings, and more!
Q. Is there a minimum donation required to host a fundraiser?
A. There is no minimum amount required to host a fundraiser, but the amount of logistical support you can expect to receive CAT as well as the use of our trademarked logo in your publicity and advertising materials will depend on the proceeds you anticipate making to CAT.
Q. I want to publicize this event through media outlets in my community. Is that allowed?
A. Yes! CAT will provide specific wording about our mission and those we serve which you can use in your publicity materials. Whenever possible, CAT should have the opportunity to review and approve press materials (posters, invitations, email announcements, press releases, etc.) prior to print and distribution. This is so we can make sure that the terminology and images used accurately represent our organization’s mission and values.
Q. Can I solicit organizations, companies, stores, etc. for donations, auction items, or sponsorships for my event?
A. We ask that you refrain from soliciting organizations/companies/stores without prior approval from CAT. This is due to the fact that our organization may have an existing relationship or request with an organization and we do not want to impede on these efforts.
Q. Will CAT send me materials or help me staff an event/fundraiser?
A. As wonderful as it would be to help staff and print materials for every community fundraiser, CAT’s limited fundraising resources and volunteers are typically reserved for activities run directly by our organization. Whenever feasible, we may be able to provide printed CAT brochures and/or donation box for your event/fundraiser. However, we ask that your fundraising team pick-up any materials (and return unused materials) from our Sherwood shelter location. If CAT is able to provide PDF files for posters or other CAT-specific marketing materials, you will be responsible for printing these items.
Q. Where does the money raised at my event go?
A. The proceeds from your event go directly toward our mission. Donations assist by providing supplies, staff, and other support that helps cats and kittens have better lives!
On Saturday, June 25, the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) will open early at 10 a.m. for our annual Kitten Palooza adoption event. This special event will feature more than 100 kittens waiting to meet you! Plus, lots of great adult cats too.
Kitten Palooza is busy and fun, and you won’t want to miss this chance to find the kitty of your dreams! Be sure to get here early — all adoptions are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Last year we “sold out” of kittens with a record-breaking 101 adoptions in one day.
When: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Where: CAT’s Sherwood Shelter - 14175 SW Galbreath Dr - Sherwood, OR 97140 map »
Beat the Heat:
With temperatures likely to be very warm, CAT wants to make sure you stay comfortable and have fun at Kitten Palooza. Here are some event details to help you plan:
CAT’s shelter closes at 6 p.m., and adoptions end at 5:30 p.m. Because this is a special event, CAT does not offer “holds” the day before or during Kitten Palooza. Unaltered cats and kittens who are available for adoption will not be ready to go home same-day (they must be at least 8 weeks old and spayed/neutered in order to go home). Pre-adoptions will be available for these cats and kittens.
“Kitten Season” is coming and much like a mother-to-be, CAT is in need of supplies to care for the many kittens who will come into the shelter during this busy time of year. With your support, the foster program cares for close to 1,000 mama cats and kittens each year—and the summer months are especially busy. You can give these kittens get a great start to life!
The following items are some of our highest need supplies. Your gift is deeply appreciated!
Kitten Baby Shower: It’s Raining Kittens
Who: Open to cat lovers of all ages! No RSVP needed
What: Enjoy games and refreshments with CAT staff, volunteers, and other guests
When: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1 pm - 2:30 pm
Where: Cat Adoption Team, 14175 SW Galbreath Dr, Sherwood, OR 97140
Why: Your contribution provides much-needed supplies to the kitten foster program
How much: Free to attend; suggested donation of cash or supplies
Can’t Attend? From April 1 to April 30, you can drop off supplies at CAT"s Sherwood shelter, the CAT Thrift Store, and Purringtons Cat Lounge during open hours.
Here are some tips to re-homing your cat without going through a shelter:
It’s important to note that many municipal and county shelters are only able to assist with lost and found animals. Many animal organizations, including CAT, may have a waiting list or appointment-only process for bringing cats into the shelter and cannot accept walk-ins.
Do not abandon your cat at any shelter or veterinary clinic. Animal abandonment is a misdemeanor offense in Oregon. Shelters can fine and prosecute those who leave animals at their doorstep.
*A small percentage of cats were transferred to other shelters for adoption or were lost cats returned to their owners.
**A shelter’s “Live Release Rate” is the number of live outcomes divided by the number of total outcomes. CAT gives every cat in our care the time and support they need to find a loving home. However, because we take in some very vulnerable and sick cats and kittens—including newborn orphaned kittens—some of the cats in our care do pass away or are humanely euthanized to end suffering due to incurable disease. Click here for more detail.
Intake/Nine Lives Transfer Program:
Offsite Adoption Centers:
Cat Food Bank:
Donation Programs and Fundraising Events:
After years living in animal shelters, tabby cat Lacey was adopted on January 10, 2016!
Every year, thousands of cats and kittens are adopted from animal shelters in the Pacific Northwest. Yet sometimes a cat has a harder time than usual meeting the right family and going into a new home. Such is the case for Lacey, a six-year-old female tabby cat who has spent most of her life in animal shelters.
No one knows if Lacey has ever had a family. In May 2010, she was found at a landfill and taken to the Florence Area Humane Society (FAHS). At that time, FAHS staff determined that Lacey was about 1 year old, covered in fleas, full of ear mites, and pregnant. She had no collar, tag, or microchip, so the shelter took her in as a stray.
In FAHS’ care, Lacey received treatment for parasites and had her litter of kittens. After the kittens were all adopted, Lacey was spayed and became available for adoption herself. Though she is friendly and curious, she was repeatedly overlooked—for four years. When FAHS had an opportunity to transfer Lacey to another shelter—the Cat Adoption Team (CAT)—they took it with the hopes that the change would be just what Lacey needed to find a new home.
Almost 4 years to the day after entering FASH, Lacey moved to CAT. Like her friends at FAHS, the staff and volunteers at CAT have rallied to help Lacey find a loving home. She’s been introduced to many potential adopters, but she just can’t seem to meet the right match. And no one quite knows why.
Lacey is sweet, inquisitive, and friendly. She is low-key but enjoys a good play session with one of her favorite feather toys. She’s been known to settle in for a good brushing or petting session. CAT’s volunteers and staff have taken a shine to Lacey, who gets frequent cuddle visits. She enjoys attention and being around people, but the stress of life in a shelter has taken a toll. Lacey can become overstimulated quickly and has had some stress-related health issues. CAT has done everything possible to make her comfortable, but what Lacey really needs is a home of her own.
Recently, Lacey moved into one of CAT’s foster homes. Her health and overall comfort have greatly improved there. Dan Oberst, who is fostering Lacey and is one of her biggest advocates, says, “She’s a super dedicated cat—once she’s decided you’re ‘her’ person, she’s very chatty, affectionate, and becomes attached.” He shares that she would likely be most comfortable as an only cat in a quiet, stable home.
Though the foster home has been a good change for Lacey, a permanent home is CAT’s ultimate wish for her.
“We will continue to do everything we can to make Lacey comfortable and happy, but I truly hope 2015 was the last year that Lacey had to spend in shelter care,” says Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “She’s been waiting five years, and no shelter can compare to a loving family and a home of her own.”
Brittany Chandler saw a post about Lacey in her Facebook feed, and hoped she would be able to give Lacey a home. She met Lacey on Sunday, Jan. 10, fell in love, completed the adoption process, and took Lacey home the same day. Brittany told the Portland Tribune that Lacey is doing very well in her new home. She said Lacey is “so sweet” and shared that “she head-butts me and nestles up to me.”
Everyone at CAT is thrilled that Lacey now has a loving, permanent home. A few other longtime residents at CAT are still in need of a homes, including Allegory, a loving companion who has been adopted and returned to the shelter more than once. Allegory has a similar personality to Lacey, and is looking for her own, special one-cat family.
If you or someone you know would like to add a new cat to your family, check out the cats available for adoption right now.