It was May 1, 1998, when a few hearty souls opened Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, OR. The fledgling nonprofit had 35 adoptable cats and a vision to save lives.
The vision became reality: this summer, on its 20th anniversary, CAT celebrates 44,000 cats’ lives saved, and a community far different from the one that existed in 1998.
For years, Portland-area communities were overburdened with lost, stray, and feral cats. Shelter euthanasia rates were high.
Today, Portland is a beacon for the nation, with high adoption and sterilization rates, thanks in large part to the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland. Since CAT and other member organizations formed ASAP in 2006, the community’s shelter euthanasia rates have dropped 90%.
In its 21st year, CAT plans to home another 3,300 cats, with an emphasis on helping elderly or under-socialized cats find forever homes. The shelter highlights its first two decades in a photo album at catadoptionteam.org/20years, and executive director Karen Green says, “We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring!”