Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-01-2019 03:22 PM

    @Karen Green

    Executive Director
    Cat Adoption Team
    Portland, Oregon

    Tell us about you and your history in animal welfare.

    I live in Portland, Oregon, where I’m the executive director of the Cat Adoption Team. CAT is the largest cat-focused shelter in the Pacific Northwest; we’ll find homes for about 3,300 cats and kittens this year. CAT is a founding partner of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP). Working together since 2006, our coalition has increased the live release rate for cats in the Portland metro area from 49% to 94%. Today, most of our cats come to our shelter from over 50 shelter and rescues across Oregon and beyond.

    I started my animal welfare career in 1996 as a veterinary assistant in the cat areas at Best Friends Animal Society. During ten years at Best Friends, I managed the organization’s help desk and helped run the national outreach program, then called “No More Homeless Pets.” I also fostered dozens of cats and dogs, focusing on neonates and undersocialized adolescents (though also including one piglet). After moving to Portland in 2006, I worked for the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs, an organization advancing non-surgical fertility control options worldwide (think: “spay shot”). After serving on the board of directors for Cat Adoption Team, I became the executive director in 2012.

    What are you most proud of in your career?

    CAT had gone through a lot of changes and was struggling when I became the executive director. I worked hard alongside an incredible team of staff, board members, and volunteers to “right the ship.”

    Since then, we have increased adoptions, improved cat care and people care, strengthened our culture, built programs and partnerships, and ended every year in the black.

    Name something related to animal welfare that you are super passionate about and want others to learn?

    Some special areas of interest for me in animal welfare are organizational culture, communication, and conflict resolution. I’m passionate about increasing our field’s capacity for creating healthy and happy organizations and for getting along. After moving to Portland I completed a degree in Organizational Communication and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Marylhurst University.

    Since then I’ve taught many workshops on conflict resolution at animal welfare conferences and meetings. Building and supporting a positive culture and happy workforce at CAT has been a priority for me. It’s people who are saving the animals, and we need to take care of our people! (Also, I just like people as much as I like animals, so I believe in being good to them.)

    Tell us something about yourself people might be surprised to learn.

    I don’t have a cat! Because of allergies in my family, I’m not able to have a cat at home (which is a huge bummer). Fortunately, I always have an office cat. There’s a sweet old lady cat named Star supervising my typing right now, actually. (I do have a silly lazy old dog named Tank.)

    Who in animal welfare would you most like to collaborate with?

    I am honored to call Kate Hurley a colleague and friend. She is smart, strategic, willing to ask tough questions, humble, funny, and warm. She’s saved roughly a bajillion animals, influenced countless animal advocates, and as far as I can tell has a bottomless reserve of energy. She has absolutely made me and my shelter better. I don’t know how she does it all, but I’m glad she does!

    Thanks for all you do for the cats of the Pacific Northwest and for being such a resourceful member of our community. Be sure to follow @Karen Green and ask questions or comments on this thread!


  • 2.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-02-2019 09:01 AM

    Karen is awesome!  Nice job!


  • 3.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-04-2019 02:09 PM

    Aw shucks. Thanks, Stacy!


  • 4.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-03-2019 06:53 AM

    Proud to say my first cats adopted as an adult were from CAT.

    They have both passed on since but were truly exceptional boys. They helped me raise so many foster kittens (and a fair number of foster puppies/dogs too) and accompanied me faithfully in my cross-country move.  Didn't complain about three days crated in the back of the car, or two nights in strange motel rooms.  Oh, those boys.

    Thanks, Karen, for coordinating all the great work that CAT continues to do!


  • 5.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-04-2019 02:08 PM

    I'm glad we gave you some good ones.  


  • 6.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-03-2019 04:38 PM

    Karen! You’re awesome!! Thank you for all you do! 


  • 7.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-04-2019 02:08 PM

    Right back atcha, Tara!


  • 8.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-04-2019 01:14 PM

    Thanks @Karen Green for all that you help contribute here on the forum and for our PNW cats! We're lucky to have you 


  • 9.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-04-2019 02:07 PM

    Thanks, Charlotte! I'm happy to be a part of the forum!


  • 10.  RE: Meet Founding Member Karen Green

    Posted 02-11-2019 11:10 AM

    We are so lucky you came to CAT. You leadership has been transformative and inspiring. I am lucky to call you a colleague and mentor.