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Spay/neuter and adoptions reducing numbers of homeless cats

Promoting both adoption and spay/neuter, local animal shelters have drastically reduced the numbers of homeless cats and kittens in this area.

It started in 2006 when the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland was formed by local animal shelters to offer low-cost feline spay/neuter services. Since then, over 28,000 cats of owners in need of financial assistance have been fixed through the “Spay & Save” program, resulting in a remarkable 25 percent decrease in the number of homeless cats entering shelters since 2010. Last year alone, the CAT preformed 2,048 low-cost surgeries for owned cats.

ASAP then formed the Life Saving committee whereby coalition shelters pull together so no healthy, adoptable cat is euthanized (and none have been since 2010). Last year alone, overall feline euthanasia in the metro area dropped 34 percent.

In the heat of the summer, when kittens abound and county shelters see an influx of adult cats, the private non-profit shelters, such as CAT and Oregon Humane, make room to take in cats from the partner county shelters, including unweaned kittens and cats with treatable heath problems like ringworm.

The coalition also comes together for frequent city-wide cat adoption promotions making it convenient and affordable for cat-lovers to find and adopt a feline friend.

Thanks to these efforts, more cats are being adopted – 8 percent more since 2006. Considering the number of cats entering shelters for adoption decreased, this means more of the less-than-perfect cats are finding homes than six years ago.

Add it all up and the Portland-metro area can boast being one of the top three safest communities for homeless animals, joining New York City and the Denver metropolitan area (source: Maddie’s Fund National Community Statistics Database).

This achievement is because of your support of coalition shelters. Thank you for adopting a shelter pet, for having your pet spayed/neutered, for donating to the shelters, and for volunteering your time.

For more information on the state of homeless pets in the Portland-metro area, go to

ASAP press release
Oregonian news story

by Kathy Covey

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