May 1 marks 20th anniversary for local animal shelter
[April 26, 2018 – Sherwood, Ore.] — This May, the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) will celebrate its 20th year of saving the lives of homeless cats and kittens.
With 35 cats for adoption and a dream to save more lives, CAT opened its doors in Sherwood, Ore., on May 1, 1998. Today, CAT is the largest feline-only nonprofit animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest and has found homes for more than 44,000 cats and kittens.
When CAT first came on the scene in the late 1990s, Portland and its surrounding communities were overrun with lost, stray, and abandoned cats. Euthanasia rates were high. Adoption numbers were low. Homeless cats had limited options.
Working collaboratively with other animal shelters, rescue groups, and veterinarians—and with the support the local community—CAT has helped transform the Portland metro area into one of the safest communities in the nation for homeless cats.
By the end of its first year, CAT had found homes for 219 cats. The adoption numbers and shelter population more than doubled in 1999. In 2002, CAT became the first animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest to open an onsite veterinary hospital. And the organization has continued to advance each year.
Though the shelter location hasn’t changed, the facility has undergone countless improvements. CAT upgraded from particle board and Plexiglas to stainless steel cat kennels in the mid-2000s. Later, in 2014, additional housing improvement gave twice as much space to each cat. The organization continues to make changes in response to advances in veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.
Over the past 20 years, cats’ lives have been saved and human lives have been enriched by the 44,319 adoptions from CAT.
“All of this has been made possible by the generosity and caring of adopters, volunteers, donors, and other partners in our community,” says Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring!”
Helping cats in need remains at the core of all that CAT does. This year, the organization plans to increase its support for senior cats, under-socialized kittens, and cats with other health or behavior concerns. What’s more, CAT hopes to help another 3,300 cats and kittens find loving new homes by the end of 2018.
CAT invites you to celebrate the memories by viewing our 20th Anniversary Photo Album online at catadoptionteam.org/20years.
A Brief History of CAT
1998 – CAT opens on May 1 with 35 cats for adoption
2000 – 1,000th cat is adopted
2002 – CAT opens onsite veterinary hospital, making it the first shelter in Oregon to open such a clinic
2004 – Organization receives official 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation
2005 – Kitten foster program is formalized with the hire of first foster coordinator
2006 – CAT and other local animal organizations form the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP)
2008 – ASAP’s Spay & Save low-cost public spay/neuter program become available at CAT
2009 – CAT reaches 20,000th adoption
2011 – Thrift Store Benefitting the Cat Adoption Team opens
2012 – A burst pipe floods the shelter and CAT undertakes an extensive remodel
2014 – CAT adds portals to its kennels, doubling—and in some cases tripling—each cat’s space
2016 – 40,000th adoption takes place
2017 – With grant funding, CAT purchases its first transport vehicle
2018 – CAT celebrates 20th anniversary
ABOUT CAT ADOPTION TEAM
The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest nonprofit, feline-only shelter committed to finding a home for every cat it takes in. CAT’s mission is to save the lives of homeless 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 more than 44,000 cats and kittens since opening in May 1998. As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, CAT relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations. For more information, visit catadoptionteam.org.
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