The 300th Passenger Hitches a Ride on the Kitten Caboose

The Kitten Caboose gets kittens off the streets and into forever homes.

Sum, a five month old kitten, recently came to OHS via the Kitten Caboose. He was adopted and is now enjoying life in a loving home.

Since July 2017, local kittens have been hitching a ride to the Oregon Humane Society on the Kitten Caboose thanks to a new program with Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, or FCCO. When caregivers bring in litters of feral or stray kittens to FCCO to be spayed or neutered, caregivers and FCCO staff collaborate to determine next steps for the tiny felines. Is this kitten a candidate for adoption? If so, the kitten gets a ticket on the Kitten Caboose.

Next stop, the Oregon Humane Society.

The program hit an important milestone recently as the 300th kitten arrived at OHS in search of a forever home.

Anika Moje, Senior Program Manager of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) and Spay & Save program, proposed the idea of a transfer partnership when she noticed the positive impact of local spay/neuter programs on shelter intake. “The Spay & Save program alone has altered over 80,000 cats and kittens since 2010 and has reduced the ASAP coalition shelters’ feline intake from the public by 44% as of the end of 2016,” she said. “Now, local shelters often have capacity to take in additional kittens.”

According to Jessica Wiseley Kruger, Admissions Manager, Oregon Humane Society, the goal of the partnership is to prevent adoptable kittens from being returned to the outdoors. “FCCO clients now have the convenient option of surrendering the kittens to FCCO for immediate transfer to OHS via the Second Chance Program,” she says.

“This program gets kittens off the street and into forever homes,” said Leah Kennon, CVT, Operations Director, FCCO.

Some of the kittens are already very social, while others need some extra TLC. The OHS behavior team and volunteers help the shy kittens by socializing them and responding to their individual needs.

“This success of the Kitten Caboose is a great example of the collaboration among our ASAP partners,” added Anika.