SHERWOOD, Ore. — The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in Sherwood, Oregon is getting a financial boost. The Pacific Northwest's largest cat-only shelter received a $57,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to support activities related to preparing cats and kittens for adoption.
"The best part of this job is getting to see cats going home to great families," said Heather Svoboda, communications and development manager.
The mission at CAT is to find a loving home for every cat they take in. Since they opened in 1998, CAT has helped find homes for more than 50,000 cats.
The $57,000 grant will fund training, supplies and medical care to support CAT's kitten foster program.
That includes what's called kitten baby bags. The name is adorable (and so are the bags), but they're also necessary. Each foster family gets a bag to care for the kitten they're helping prepare for adoption.
Each kitten baby bag is filled with essentials for kitten care. Everything from a scale to weigh the kitten to medicine and more.
"You can see a variety of supplies. We have a scale for weighing kittens. Some baby wash clothes in case there's some cleaning up to do," Svoboda said.
"I don't know what we would do without the baby bags," Volunteer Susan Callihan said.
Callihan is one of the hundreds of volunteers who work at CAT. She helps with everything from transportation to fostering. In fact, she and her husband have fostered more than 150 kittens since 2011.
"Some people say, 'Oh, how can you let them go?' And I say, 'Because I know they're going to another home and I can take in more.' So, I get kittens all year round," Callihan said.
Not only will The PetSmart Charities grant help with CAT's adoption facility in Sherwood. It will help with their six off-site locations.
"So, CAT has an off-site adoption centers at our local PetSmart stores and local pet supply stores, veterinary clinics and now, Purrington's Cat Lounge," Svoboda said. "So, we have a lot of partners in the community who house our cats for adoptions and help us find them homes."
Those off-site facilities make up for about 20% of their cat adoptions, according to Svoboda. This grant will help even more of these sweet felines find their forever homes.
"We meet some really amazing people who come in with huge hearts and help these cats find homes and that's the most rewarding thing that we can do," Svoboda said.