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Jill Winans

Fed up with hot weather and the rat race, Southern Cal native Jill Winans headed north 13 years ago. "I wanted to go where it always rains," she says. "I came here and opened a boarding kennel for cats." In the 10 years she operated her business, the CatSpa, Winans became increasingly involved in animal rescue. "Greenhill needed a place for victims of domestic violence to leave their cats," she says. "I had as many as 15 at a time." As a board member of the Stray Cat Alliance, she organized an adopt-a-thon in '03 and brought the Oregon Neutermobile to town for two months in '04. "We altered 611 dogs and cats," she notes. "But we estimate 40,000 stray animals in Lane County." Winans and two fellow cat fanciers started a new non-profit, the Willamette Animal Guild, dedicated to raising funds for a full-time low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic in Lane County. In April of '05, WAG opened Pick of the Litter, a consignment shop at 329 W 4th, run by volunteers and open 10:30-4, Tuesday-Saturday. In the photo, Winans holds Silk, the shop cat, available for adoption but living with Winans in the meantime.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 22 December 2005

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