Cat Adoption Team announces 35,000th adoption

 Mildred with her adopters

Mildred with her adopters

SHERWOOD, OR (May 20, 2015) – 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 Cat Lounge just a few days before the Stephens’ first visit. 

 Mildred at Purrington's

Mildred at Purrington's

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. 

 Mildred at home

Mildred at home

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 

Cat Adoption Team is located at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Drive in Sherwood. For more information, visit or call (503) 925-8903

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About the Cat Adoption Team

The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest non-profit, feline-only shelter committed to finding a home for every cat it takes in. CAT’s mission is to save the lives of homeless, unwanted, sick, and injured cats and to work with our community to provide feline expertise and quality programs and services for people and cats. CAT has found homes for nearly 35,000 cats and kittens since it opened in May 1998. As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, CAT relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations.