CAT will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We’ll reopen for regular hours at noon Sunday, July 5. Have a safe and happy holiday!
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.
The 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.
Felony 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.
(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.
“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.
When 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.”
If you find a kitten or litter of kittens outdoors, do not assume they are abandoned. Please read our tips before taking them inside.
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.
After 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.
Before 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.”
A 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:
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.
This 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.
Offsite Adoption Centers:
Cat Food Bank:
The Cat Adoption Team is thrilled to announce that long-time volunteer Bob Anderson was recognized as one of four runners-up in the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year contest. As a result, Bob won a $5,000 donation to CAT.
Purina Cat Chow asked its 50 shelter partners – one in every state – to nominate a volunteer who spends countless hours providing additional support to lessen the stress on the cats and kittens in the shelters’ care while they await forever homes. CAT nominated Bob in honor of his tremendous sense of humor, big heart for people and cats, and for his years of service volunteering at CAT—he began volunteering just after CAT’s founding in 1998.
“Bob will do any job that benefits the cats, and do so with a smile on his face,” said Nancy Puro, volunteer manager at CAT.
From Feb. 23 to March 15, Purina Cat Chow invited consumers nationwide to vote for their favorite volunteer story daily. Consumer votes and a judging panel determined the top shelter volunteer and four runners-up volunteers. More than 272,000 votes were cast in support of the 50 nominees.
“It [was] nice to be nominated in the first place,” Bob said upon learning of his win. “It gives me a good feeling inside to know that I’ve helped the kitties after all these years.”
The contest recognized and thanked shelter volunteers who tirelessly care for cats as they await their forever homes and work to make their temporary shelter homes gentler, less stressful places. CAT will use the $5,000 toward shelter renovations already underway.
CAT wishes to thank all those who voted for Bob and CAT during the contest.
2015 Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Winners
Top prize won a $25,000 shelter makeover; runners-up each won $5,000 for their shelter
Top Prize: Liz Taranda, Clifton Animal Shelter, (Clifton, N.J.)
Bob Anderson, Cat Adoption Team (Sherwood, Ore.)
Lauren Godail, Animal Rescue New Orleans (New Orleans)
Barrett Henderson, Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta)
Desiree Muench, Hillside S.P.C.A. (Pottsville, Pa.)