How it all began…
Read the story of a little cat named Indigo, and the influence he had on the beginning of a legacy.
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.
Meet the Indigo Rescue Board of Directors
Heather Hines, Founder/Executive Director
Heather Hines grew up in Southern California and began her involvement in animal welfare during the early eighties, following a childhood calling of rescuing injured and homeless animals. After moving to Oregon in 1991, she became more involved in organized domestic animal rescue efforts, eventually co-founding both the Cat Adoption Team and Indigo Rescue in 1998.
Heather not only develops and initiates Indigo’s key programs; she serves as Executive Director, managing fundraising efforts and soliciting volunteer involvement. As the lead adoption counselor for Indigo Rescue, Heather stresses the importance of making compatible matches, coining the phrase “Consider us the match.com of people and pets.” As part of her daily efforts, Heather networks and gathers new support for the organization and its programs. She also spends a great deal of her time promoting community responsibility, consulting with people on how to overcome the reasons they believe they need to give up their pets, and working with independent rescuers on providing shelter and care for rescued animals until they can be safely placed in new homes.
Heather proposed and helped develop and coordinate the launch of the onsite spay/neuter program at Washington County Animal Services, and the shelter’s volunteer dog walking program to help train dogs and provide increased public exposure. At home, she fosters for Indigo Rescue and continues with her passion for rescuing and rehabilitating injured or ill animals, providing a combination of traditional medical rehabilitation and natural therapies during their recovery.
Christy Caplan grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism. Since 1995, Christy has worked as a PR practitioner at PR agencies, held PR manager positions at a variety of companies and currently owns her own PR boutique agency, Sundrop Media in Portland, Ore.
Christy realized her passion for animals when she adopted her first dog, Jack – emaciated and flea-ridden — discovered under a car in Los Angeles. Years later she adopted a second dog from a local Portland rescue and then became familiar with Indigo Rescue when adopting her third dog, Bruiser. She currently lives with three hounds and has a special place in her heart for Indigo Rescue and their mission to end animal abandonment and pet overpopulation in our community. What makes Christy’s pulse race at the end of her day is coming home to her three adopted hounds.
With roots in consumer lifestyle and packaged goods PR, Christy’s strength is developing integrated marketing strategies and grass roots campaigns that connect with everyday people. From soup to coffee and select technology products, she has brought strategic promotions to life to drive sales for top companies such as Folgers, Boyd’s Coffee, Progresso and Microsoft. Christy currently targets dog-friendly businesses as clients.
In 2012, Christy also graduated as Certified Veterinary Technician and works for a Specialty Veterinarian gaining skills and experience with various animal needs.
As a board member Christy is excited to ensure Indigo Rescue continues to thrive and OCU at Indigo Ranch is on everyone’s radar as the premier boarding facility for the community’s four legged friends.
Matt Carty, Treasurer
Matt, a native Oregonian, grew up in Pendleton. He attended Pacific University in Forest Grove where he received his undergraduate degree in Finance. While in college, Matt owned and operated the Oregon and SW Washington distributorship for the third largest sports drink brand. After graduation, he went to work for Intel Corp. where he currently works as a Senior Financial Analyst. Matt also holds an MBA from George Fox University.
Matt and his wife were first introduced to the importance of adoption after meeting a young Boston Terrier named Gucci. Gucci’s spine had not fully developed leaving her with a lack of proper nerves in her hindquarters. She had passed from family to family but eventually found her way into the hearts of Matt and Kim. It was during Matt’s MBA that he began working with Indigo Rescue after rallying a team in his cohort to complete a consulting project associated with OCU.
Along with fostering for Indigo, Matt’s interests involve spending time with his wife Kim, his two pugs (who Gucci loves to bother), golf when it’s not raining, movies, building indoor glass waterfalls, and other assorted entrepreneurial endeavors.
Kim Carty grew up in Forest Grove, OR. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma WA and Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Kim opened her solo law practice in 2000 and performed contract work for other local attorneys, writing briefs and memorandums for Oregon courts before transitioning into real estate. Since 2003, Kim has been a broker for John L Scott in Beaverton, OR and a licensed attorney, assisting her clients with real estate matters.
Kim and her husband, Matt, both had childhood pets growing up, so adopted two pugs that were their first “kids”. A few years later, they adopted a Boston Terrier named Gucci. This little alpha female soon ruled the house and won everyone over despite the fact that she has a spinal condition which requires her to wear a diaper. Gucci’s adoption prompted Kim and Matt to become more involved with animal rescue organizations and have since fostered dogs for Indigo Rescue.
When not working or playing with her son or the four-legged kids, Kim enjoys working out, golf, running, movies and reading.
Mark Norman DVM, President
Dr Mark Norman has been the primary veterinarian for Indigo Rescue since 1998, either treating or referring the organization’s rescued animals to specialists for appropriate care. He has practiced in the Portland area since 1996. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Portland Veterinary Medical Association, Washington County Veterinary Medical Association. He also serves on the board of Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital. Dr Mark is a 1996 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to being the veterinarian for Indigo Rescue, Dr Mark has fostered and adopted one of his dogs from the organization. He also hosts and participates in fundraising activities and events.
Kristina Herb, Secretary
Kristina is a native Oregonian. Her early years were spent on a small farm in Orenco, Oregon. Surrounded by animals from an early age, Kristina developed a love for all animals and has in her life nursed baby birds, mice and even rescued 3 baby opossums after their mother had been hit by a car. She and a neighbor bottle fed the babies several times a day until they were old enough to eat solid food.
A chance search through her employer’s classified ads brought her to an ad about a dog that needed a second chance at life through a foster home. The need to help this animal find a forever home was immediate and Kristina contacted the person who posted the ad to sign up as an Indigo foster.
Throughout the years that Kristina has fostered animals for adoption, both of her son’s have also shared in the joy of giving an animal a second chance at life. Through them we hope to make sure the wonderful message of adoption and spay/neuter instead of buying from a breeder is carried on to the next generation.
Kristina is the Global Logistics Manager for Nike Golf and in this capacity, she is primarily a problem solver.