portal it forward (7)


We received requests for more than double the number of portals we had, so we turned to the animal-loving community to help us make up the difference. Watch this video to see Dr. Kate Hurley announce the winners of the contest!

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Contest Criteria:

To enter, send us a photo essay or video telling us and the world why you want portals. (Note: this contest is for portals, not for cages. Hopefully you already have the cages.) Please include at least one "before" picture of your housing showing a cat that wants a portal. This contest won't be judged, but bonus style points will be awarded for creative delivery (story telling from cat's point of view, music video, interpretive dance, haiku...). All entries will be placed in the Magic Portal and drawn by lottery (at least 10 winners will be allowed, more if some shelters need fewer portals). Creative entries that don't happen to get chosen by lottery may be featured on our facebook page in hopes others will be inspired to support your portalmania plans. 

Rules of the game:

All shelters in the Million Cat Challenge are eligible to enter as long as you intend to use the portals in your own shelter.

Winners will receive up to 30 portals and one template; installation will still be up to you.

Entries due Friday, March 2nd: send to sheltermedicine@ucdavis.edu with "Portal It Forward" in the subject line and your request attached or embedded. Let us know how many portals you need, up to 30 maximum. (Don't forget you only need one portal for every two cages.)

On March 7th we'll draw as many submission as we can supply from the Magic Portal (at least 10, more if we get some requests for less than 30 each). Results will be posted on Facebook and communicated by email. It's our goal to get the portals to you in time for National Pay It Forward Day on April 28th.

How does the Pay It Forward come into play? We are 100% convinced that portals save money as well as cat lives and staff sanity. But we know that shelter budgets don't always work that way. So, Dr. Kate decided to use her Maddie's Hero award money to help shelters get started even if you don't have the money in the budget yet. If the portals do end up saving you money by reducing disease, lowering length of stay and increasing adoptions, you will be free to donate back to the Portal It Forward fund at the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program (write Portal It Forward in the description when making your donation) and we will use all donations to run the contest again.

We're pretty sure this system could work to portal every shelter in the world! But if you're not in a position to donate back, you can still Pay It Forward by sharing your experience with others to help them make a case for portals to their community/funders/stakeholders. To this end we will be asking each winner to share a few things about their Portalmania experience:

  • To go with your "before" picture, a picture and video of a cat experiencing a portal for the first time.
  • A short video interview with a staff member or favorite cat volunteer after installation, documenting their reaction.
  • Any tips you learned about how to go about getting them installed, how you organized your cat population so you would have room to cut the holes, how you got worried staff or stakeholders (if any) on board, and anything else you think would encourage others to take the portal plunge.
Copy of portal it forward (1)


  • Began: Feb 6th
  • Ended: Friday, March 2nd
    Drawing: Wednesday, March 7th
  • Must be enrolled in the Million Cat Challenge
  • Can be awarded up to 30 portals
  • Installation is up to the shelter
  • This contest is for portals, not cages!
  • Submissions are sent to sheltermedicine@ucdavis.edu