Cat Adoption Team

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Man rescues kitten while driving home from cat shelter event

**A Sad Update**
Nugget was scheduled to come into the hospital tomorrow morning, and has been staying safely with Alfredo and Justina until then. I’m very sorry to share that this sweet little kitten has passed away. We may not know his whole story, but we know he found love and kindness during his last days. We are incredibly grateful to Alfredo and Justina for caring for this little guy and doing all they could for him.

They shared: “Unfortunately Nugget passed away this evening. He went quietly in his sleep. Nugget had just recently eaten, slept in a comfy bed and spent his last two days inside a warm house, away from the cold and rain.He is buried by our pear tree, next to our house so he can still be with us. We want to thank you for all you do.”

Our gratitude and sympathy go out to Alfredo and Justina, who made sure that this lost little kitten knew love.

An injured 10-week-old kitten was in the right place at the right time on Saturday night when he was spotted running alongside the road.

Alfredo Chiquito was driving on Highway 26 near Sandy when he caught a glimpse of orange fluff trying to cross the road and decided to stop and help.

Chiquito, who works as an audio/video technician, had spent the day working for the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) at the local shelter’s annual Whisker Wonderland fundraising event. Afterwards, he met up with his girlfriend, Justina Price, who was with him as he drove home from the event.


“We pulled over and noticed [the kitten] was hurt—running slower and sideways,” Chiquito says. “We couldn’t leave him out in the rain and so close to the highway.”

Chiquito said he followed the kitten’s meows while Price parked the car. He found the kitten in a nearby cemetery, hiding inside a gravestone with a small break in it.

“We used a t-shirt to safely grab him and pull him out. He did try to escape, but as soon as he was bundled up, he knew that we were trying to help him.”

The couple took the kitten, who they started calling Nugget, to a veterinary clinic where it was discovered that he has a fracture in his left rear leg. They also checked the kitten for a microchip, but did not find one. The couple reached out to their county shelter about what to do next. They discovered that there’s no shelter in Clackamas County responsible for taking in stray cats, and were referred to private shelters for help.

“They listed Cat Adoption Team as the place to contact, and I thought ‘Perfect! I just met a few people from there today, they’ll know how to help!’” said Chiquito.

He contacted CAT, and the shelter offered to take in the kitten.

Nugget will be treated at CAT’s on-site veterinary clinic. Since he is not microchipped and was found without other ID, he’ll be available for adoption once his leg is healed.

“It’s pretty amazing that we met Alfredo for the first time on Saturday, and then he met Nugget later that night,” said Heather Svoboda, CAT’s communications and development manager. “Working with others to save lives is exactly what we were celebrating at our Whisker Wonderland event!”

Nugget will be available for adoption through CAT following treatment. Anyone interested in adopting Nugget will be able to meet him at that time. All adoptions are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

CAT is located at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Drive in Sherwood, Ore., and is open Tuesday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For information about CAT’s adoption policies and fees, visit

Fall in Love

Dee Dee

This October, Fall in Love with a new best friend! It’s always a great time to add a new feline to your family. But adopting right now means your new cat or kitten will be ready to enjoy the holidays with you this winter. Some of our staff favorites have special adoption fees as part of the Fall in Love adoption event. Don’t miss your chance to meet one of these sweeties and add them to your family today!

Fall in Love with ....

Adoption fees for these specially marked adults are $0 through October 31
Jeremy - I’m adopted!
Joe - I’m adopted!
Madrone - I’m adopted!
Nicole - I’m adopted!
Persephone - I’m adopted!
Pewter - I’m adopted!
Wilbur - I’m adopted!

Adoption fees for these special kittens are 50% off through October 31
Dee Dee - I’m adopted!
Gouda - I’m adopted!
Johnny - I’m adopted!
Lamar - I’m Adopted!

“Fall in Love” is part of a national adoption event from Best Friends Animal Society in collaboration with their network partners, including the Cat Adoption Team.

Detour Routes to CAT August 21-23

If you are coming to the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) this August 21 through August 23, please be aware that traffic is being re-routed to accommodate a road closure. The detour signs by the city may not correctly route you to CAT, and GPS may be impacted as well. Please see our alternate route suggestions below.

About the closure
The railroad crossing on Tualatin-Sherwood Road between SW Oregon Street and SW Gerda Lane is in need of replacement to ensure the safety of road and railroad users. In order to replace this section of rail, Tualatin-Sherwood Road will be closed to all traffic at the railroad crossing west of Oregon Street for up to 72 hours starting at 7 p.m. Friday, August 21.

The road will be closed to all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Signs will identify detour routes (please follow CAT’s suggested routes). The road will reopen as soon as work is completed.

Alternate Routes


Westbound on Tualatin-Sherwood Road
Follow Tualatin-Sherwood Road west to SW 124th Avenue. Turn right onto 124th and follow to SW Herman Road and turn left onto Herman. Follow Herman to a three-way stop. Take a slight right onto SW Cipole Road, then take a slight left onto Galbreath Drive. CAT is located at 14175 SW Galbreath Drive, Sherwood, OR.

From OR-99 (SW Pacific Hwy) Southbound
Take OR-99W to SW Cipole Road/Fishbuck Road, and then turn left onto SW Cipole Road. Follow Cipole to SW Galbreath Drive and turn right onto Galbreath. CAT is located at 14175 SW Galbreath Drive, Sherwood, OR.

Eastbound on Tualatin-Sherwood Rd
Stay on Tualatin-Sherwood Road traveling east. DO NOT follow the detour signs onto Langer Farms Parkway. Continue straight on Tualatin-Sherwood Road to the stoplight at SW Gerda Lane. Turn left onto Gerda Lane, then take your first right onto SW Galbreath Drive. CAT is located at 14175 SW Galbreath Drive, Sherwood, OR.

CAT receives $5,000 grant from Best Friends Animal Society

Grant funds help cover costs of adoption events and reduced adoption fees

Juneau photo by Lamm PhotographyThe Cat Adoption Team (CAT) recently was awarded a $5,000 grant from Best Friend Animal Society. A portion of the grant helped offset adoption event costs, while the remainder will cover adoption fees for senior, long-term, and special needs cats.

“Some cats take longer to find the right home, whether because of age, medical needs, or just because they are having a hard time adjusting to shelter life and their true personalities aren’t shining through,” says Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “Waiving adoption fees for these cats gives them a little edge—helping them find a great home more quickly.”

CAT is one of the few shelters in the area that can provide the extra care required by cats with on-going medical needs and age-related diseases. However, it costs more to care for these cats and often takes more time and effort to find the right homes for them.

For most cats a shelter is a completely new experience—full of different smells, sounds, sights, and routines that can lead to increased stress. Cats who are especially uncomfortable in a shelter behave differently than they would at home. This is a particular problem for cats who are naturally more timid or more excitable and for cats who don’t like other felines. As a result, shelter visitors might not see a cat’s true personality or potential, which results in these cats taking a little longer than usual to find homes.

The Best Friends grant will allow CAT to offer fee-waived adoptions for cats who have been in the shelter longer than average as well as others who may take longer to find homes, including seniors and cats who require special medical care.

Juneau (pictured) is one of the cats who has her adoption fee waived, thanks to the Best Friends grant funding. This lovely lady is five years old, and has been in CAT’s care for more than 150 days (most CAT cats are adopted within a couple of weeks). Juneau has a playful side, is a great conversationalist, and seeks affection from people. She would prefer to be the only cat so her wonderful personality can shine. Anyone interested in Juneau can meet her at CAT’s main shelter location in Sherwood.

Cats in the shelter who have a waived adoption fee are marked with a special card; there is also a note in the cat’s online adoption profile if the adoption fee is waived.

CAT is located at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Dr., Sherwood, Ore. The shelter is open Tuesday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Adoptions end 30 minutes prior to close.

CAT taking in cats from major neglect case

Nearly 100 cats require assistance finding new homes after being rescued by Klamath County Animal Control from a neglect situation in Chiloquin. One of the largest pet rescues in Oregon history, this huge influx of animals is a stretch for any shelter, especially during this busy time of year. The Oregon Humane Society (OHS) is managing intake of cats from the case, and reached out to the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) for help placing some of the animals in new homes.

Klamath RescueThe cats arrived at the Oregon Humane Society in Portland today. Of these, about 20 to 30 are expected to go into foster homes of OHS volunteers and another 20 to 30 will be transferred to CAT in Sherwood for adoption. CAT and OHS will provide any needed medical care to the cats and plan to offer them for adoption beginning this Thursday.

Shelters at capacity; adoption special offered
With CAT’s Kitten Palooza adoption event already schedule for this Saturday, June 27, the shelter is also offering a special adoption fee of 95 cents for the rescued adult cats who will transfer to CAT from OHS. 

“CAT is working on a construction project right now that has tied up some of our kennels, so space is tight,” said Karen Green, executive director of CAT. “[But] we recognize that this is a critical situation and are pleased to work with OHS to help these cats get out of a difficult situation and into loving homes as quickly as possible.”

OHS also is operating at capacity and will reduce the adoption fees of all adult cats to 95 cents from June 25–June 28.  “We’re hoping to find homes for these cats as soon as possible,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS executive director.

Klamath RescueFelony Charges Sought Against Owner
Klamath law enforcement officers are seeking to charge the owner with 98 counts of felony animal neglect related to the unsanitary and unhealthy conditions in which the cats were living. Before Klamath County Animal Control officers entered the residence on June 15, they reported being met with an overwhelming odor of cat urine, and after going inside were confronted with a horrific presence of cat urine and feces that were found in overfilled cat boxes. The floor off the residence was stained with fresh and dried feces, diarrhea, vomit, and urine.

Officers and support staff from Klamath County Animal Control used three trucks and a large trailer to transport the cats to the East Ridge Veterinary Hospital for medical checks by Dr. Marcie Keener and Dr. Doug McInnis.

Donate to CAT and save lives
CAT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies on generous individual donations to fund our programs and services. To ensure that CAT can continue to help more cats in need, please consider making a donation today.

Portland man reunites with cat after emergency double lung transplant

(Sherwood, OR - JUNE 5, 2015) — Gary DeCarrico was not expecting to be in the hospital for months. He had a severe headache and went to see the doctor. As it turned out, he would spend the next few weeks in intensive care before his health took an even graver turn.

DeCarrico contracted hospital-acquired pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. With his immune system already weakened by adult cystic fibrosis, the infection spread fiercely and quickly. DeCarrico was fast-tracked for an emergency double lung transplant.

All the while, one of his biggest concerns was who would care for his seven-year-old tabby cat, Wilhelmina.

Wilhelmina at home“She’s the sweetest cat, and she’s so happy being in a home,” DeCarrico explains. He worked with several friends who were willing to house-sit and care for Wilhelmina.

DeCarrico went to UCSF Medical Center, where he waited 8 months for an appropriate donor. It was during this time that the plans for Wilhelmina began to fall apart.

The latest friend caring for Wilhelmina was moving out of the country and there wasn’t anyone else who could step in. DeCarrico brainstormed for alternative options, but ultimately gave the friend permission to take his cat to a shelter.

“I felt awful,” recalls DeCarrico, “but I could not find anything—anything—for Wilhelmina. All I could do was try not to be sad and focus on what is the best for the wellbeing of this cat.”

At the end of last year, his friend took Wilhelmina to Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) with the hopes she would find a new, permanent home.

On January 18, 2015, DeCarrico had the emergency double lung transplant that would save his life. By the end of March, he was released from the hospital but had to remain in the area for about 12 weeks for post-operative observation.

During this time, DeCarrico would check the MCAS website to keep an eye on Wilhelmina. When her online adoption profile was removed, he assumed she had been adopted. He says at that time he felt, “If she’s happy; I’m happy.”

In May, DeCarrico was finally able to return to his Portland home. As he was settling in, he found Wilhelmina’s food dish.

“I thought, this has left such a hole in my heart, I’m just going to call and see what I can find out,” he says.

Gary & Wilhelmina reunitedWhen DeCarrico contacted MCAS, he was told that the cat had transferred to another local shelter, the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in February.

DeCarrico checked CAT’s website to view the cats available for adoption. To his surprise, Wilhelmina’s picture popped up on his computer screen (though the shelter had named her “Wilma”). He saw that she was being housed at CAT’s Thrift Store in Raleigh Hills, and he immediately went to see her.

“It was great – she was just sitting there looking happy. I started talking to her like I used to and she looked up at me real slowly, took a good look, and it was like: ‘I know you,’” DeCarrico explains.

Because of his transplant, DeCarrico needs special filtration systems installed in his home, which means several weeks of construction. Still without a way to keep Wilhelmina at his home, DeCarrico wondered what he could possibly do.

After talking with several members of CAT’s Thrift Store and shelter staff, a plan emerged.

A friend who hadn’t been able to take Wilhelmina in when DeCarrico first went into the hospital, now could. She agreed to pet sit Wilhelmina in until construction at DeCarrico’s house is complete.

“Everyone at CAT is thrilled that Wilhelmina will get to go back home,” said Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “Figuring out how to reunite her with her family was an honor.”

DeCarrico says he could not be happier, “I get a second chance to have my cat back in a happy home.”

Meet CAT’s 35,000th adoption

The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is pleased to announce that a five-year-old cat called Mildred became the organization’s milestone 35,000th adoption when she went home with her new family on Saturday, May 16.

Jenn Stephens and her daughter Lily weren’t thinking about adopting a cat when they first visited Purringtons Cat Lounge in late April. At the time, Stephens wasn’t even aware that cats at Purringtons are part of CAT’s outreach program; in addition to the 100 or so cats available for adoption at CAT’s main shelter in Sherwood, dozens of cats are housed at locations throughout the Portland metro area.

Mildred with adoptersAfter spending about an hour with the cats at the café, the mother-daughter duo started falling for a full-figured orange-and-white cat named Mildred. However, Stephens explained, she rents her home and didn’t have her landlord’s permission to have a cat… yet.

Stephens decided to ask her landlord to reconsider the no-pets agreement. “I offered to pay any pet deposit and cover the costs of any damage,” she said.

A few weeks later, with her landlord’s approval, Stephens returned to Purringtons to adopt Mildred (who the family has renamed Queso). She had no idea just how special this adoption would be!

In an unexpected turn of events, Mildred is not only the 35,000th cat adopted through CAT, she also has the honor of being the 35th cat adopted from Purringtons Cat Lounge since it opened earlier this year.

Mildred at CATBefore joining the Stephens family, Mildred had moved through several homes. She was surrendered to a shelter in eastern Oregon when her original owner passed away, and then transferred to CAT in March as part of the Nine Lives Transfer Program. Mildred had moved in with other CAT cats at Purringtons just a few days before the Stephens’ first visit.

As life-saving rates for shelter animals continue to improve in the Portland metro area, CAT has been able to expand its transfer program to help cats like Mildred. Last year, about 80 percent of the felines CAT took in came from shelters and rescue groups, especially from organizations faced with overcrowding or low adoption rates.

“Collaboration saves lives,” said Karen Green, executive director of CAT. “Taking in cats from other shelters gives them another chance for adoption, and partnering with offsite adoption locations provides even more opportunities for cats and kittens to meet the right families.”

CAT has helped 35,011 cats and kittens find loving homes as of May 18, 2015.

As for Mildred? “I think she’s doing fantastic,” said Stephens. “We love her.”

Mildred at homeA Brief History of CAT

In May 1998, 35 homeless cats were the start of the Cat Adoption Team, which occupied just 2,900 square feet of its current building. Now 17 years later, thousands of cats and kittens have found homes through the organization.

In an effort to expand adoption opportunities beyond its shelter in Sherwood, CAT partners with its first offsite adoption locations, including Pet Loft and local PetSmart stores in 2000.

In 2002, CAT becomes the first animal shelter in Oregon to open an in-shelter veterinary clinic.

CAT receives 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in late 2004.

In the spring of 2005, CAT hires its first foster coordinator to lead CAT’s kitten foster program; the program continues today as a national model for fostering to save more lives.

The 10,000th cat is adopted from CAT in early 2006, the same year that CAT becomes a co-founder of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland. 

In June 2008, CAT opens the first Portland-area pet food bank, distributing free cat food to financially struggling cat owners. Today, the program serves homebound individuals and seniors in Washington County.

The Thrift Store Benefitting the Cat Adoption Team opens at its currently location at 4838 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road in Portland. All proceeds from the store benefit the felines at CAT.

In April of 2012, a pipe bursts causing a flood that damaged more than 60 percent of the shelter. A number of building upgrades are completed as a result of the flood.

Housing and program changes in 2014 give shelter cats more space and better access to behavior modification and enrichment, reducing the average shelter stay by more than half.

2014 at CAT:

  • 2,440 cats and kittens were adopted
  • CAT took in 2,446 cats and kittens
  • Volunteers provide 40,183 hours of service
  • More than 2,850 cats/kittens have spay and neuter surgeries
  • 102 foster volunteers help care for 823 kittens and mama cats



Portland metro area #1 in saving lives


Portland animal shelters save an unprecedented 93.1% of homeless cats and dogs in 2014

Beyond brunch spots, breweries and bookstores, Portland has likely just achieved another #1 ranking—this one celebrated with a lot of wagging tails and purrs. In 2014, 93.1% of all cats and dogs entering the Portland metro area’s six largest animal shelters were saved. The region, with a human population of over 2.2 million, is possibly the safest place for homeless dogs and cats in America for a metro area of its size.

ASAP Shelter MapThis astounding number is nearly double the national average, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Even more amazing, it reflects an 87% drop in euthanasia rates reported by participating area shelters since 2006. More key statistics are on the accompanying one page statistics summary. That’s a major turnaround in less than 10 years. How did Portland do it?

“It takes a village,” notes Stacey Graham, president of the Humane Society for SW Washington, “and the people of the Portland/Vancouver area have truly stepped up to help animal shelters save as many homeless cats and dogs as possible.”

At the heart of this community effort is an incredibly effective, but little-known coalition—the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP)—which brings key animal organizations to the table to collaborate on life-saving initiatives for homeless metro pets. Meeting regularly since 2006, ASAP has been working diligently toward achieving its goal of saving as many cats and dogs as possible.

Specifically, ASAP has focused on decreasing shelter intake, providing medical and behavioral services to shelter pets, increasing transfers of pets between shelters, and encouraging adoptions.

One of ASAP’s most successful programs has been Spay & Save, a low-cost spay/neuter program that serves cat owners in need of financial assistance, as well as people who feed stray or feral cats. The program has altered more than 52,000 cats in five years since its launch in February 2010, and according to Karen Green, executive director of the Cat Adoption Team, has decreased the number of cats entering Portland Metro area shelters from the public by 38% since 2010.

A 93.1% live release rate is an incredible achievement, one which ASAP is committed to sustaining and building upon. With this in mind, the coalition is exploring innovative ways to save more lives, including programs to find homes for difficult-to-adopt animals, many of whom have manageable medical and behavior issues.

Review a summary of ASAP’s 2014 results.