How it all began…

Read the story of a little cat named Indigo, and the influence he had on the beginning of a legacy.


Click here to read Indigo’s Story

In the beginning…

Heather Hines became friends with Claudia Wood after she adopted one of a litter of orphaned kittens Heather had rescued. Combined, there were eleven kittens who were the survivors from three litters found in the carnage left in a vacant home by some drug addicts. The kittens were less than a week old when they were rescued and were diagnosed with distempter by the local emergency veterinarian, who stated matter-of-factly that they would all be dead within hours. Heather was heartbroken at the thought these little kittens had already survived a very difficult start and were going to die anyway, so she decided to try treating them holistically. Using those remedies and supportive care, all of the kittens survived. As a result of their weakened immune systems, the kittens were slow in developing but each of the adopters and the people who helped Heather care for those kittens were wonderful, patient people who all wanted to give these little cats a chance at a good life. There were many lessons that came from that litter of kittens.

After that rescue, Heather asked Claudia and another cat lover if they would be interested in helping to start a cat sanctuary in Sherwood. All three women assisted the benefactor, Evan Kalik, to plan and launch the Cat Adoption Team. A few months later after seeing the endless need for help for abandoned and unwanted cats, the same three women decided to start a rescue effort in Beaverton. Indigo Rescue was born. For the first few years, the three women would foster all of their rescued cats in their homes, while doing adoption outreach at a local Pet store every Saturday and every Sunday. Over the next three years they learned a lot about the depth of the cat overpopulation problem, the challenges in funding and running a responsible non-profit animal rescue, and the failure of the community to commit to their cats, as evidenced by the volume of returned cats they experienced. It was the disappointment and frustration of knowing those carefully selected adoptive homes still resulted in people who wanted to return the cats as soon as their lives changed that led the group in a different direction. Opting instead to focus much of their efforts on spaying and neutering, education, and encouraging community responsibility for the number of unwanted pets.

Eventually, Indigo partnered with three county shelters to assist in rescuing animals who had run out of time or were having a difficult time finding homes in the shelter environment. Knowing many pets who are terrified in a shelter setting but do fine once in a home, the group developed a network of foster homes who provide a stable environment and give the adoption counselors an opportunity to learn more about the at-home personalities of the pets before they are matched to an appropriate home. Rescued animals are spayed/neutered, vaccined, microchipped and have surgeries for medical needs or injuries prior to being placed in adoptive homes.

What is Indigo Rescue now?

Indigo Rescue is a volunteer animal rescue organization that launches and maintains programs to assist county animal shelters. Through partnerships formed with shelters, Indigo Rescue intervenes by taking animals who have run out of time in the shelter environment, rehabilitating them in foster homes before placing them in adoptive homes. The organization continues to develop and launch convenient and practical spay/neuter programs designed to encourage people to have their pets altered.

Indigo Rescue also develops new programs to discourage surrender of companion animals to shelters, and increase likelihood of permanent placement. Efforts include offering consultation, resources and support to individuals from the community who are making the effort to help the abandoned animals find a permanent home. The organization focuses all of their placement efforts on making compatible matches to ensure a better likelihood of people keeping their commitment to their pets for their entire lives. They encourage people to make a soul connection with pets, rather than one based on appearance, and to consider whether the energy level, training needs and length of a pets life is something the feel they can commit to. Indigo Rescue likes to refer to themselves as “The match.com of people and pets.”

Click HERE for an Indigo Rescue perspective on breeding…

Indigo Rescue was founded in 1998 and is a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

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