Lents manufacturer serves critter fanciers worldwide

If you own birds or small animals – and want to ‘buy local’ this year – discover why this outer East Portland manufacturer has developed dedicated fans who love their products …

Pam Domine, general manager and Jon Reinmann, production manager at Lents-based “Quality Cage Company” and their crew turn customers into fans by making safer, stronger homes for small animals and birds.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
These days, it seems like few products are actually made in the United States – much less in Oregon – and especially in Portland.

But, for more than 30 years, a manufacturer located in the Lents Neighborhood has been quietly making a name for itself by making first-rate cages for small animals and birds: Quality Cage Company. Every product they make – from raw materials to finished product – is manufactured by local employees in outer East Portland; and these are shipped worldwide.

Makes superior products locally
Not long ago, we met a customer, Corey O’Connor, who said he drove an hour to pick up some Superior Rabbit Homes from the firm. “Some cages for sale in pet stores are dangerous, right out of the box; they have dangerous sharp edges that cut both people and animals,” O’Connor asserted. “Like many other 4-H families, we’ve got kids caring for rabbits. I don’t worry about the kids getting stabbed or cut by sharp edges with a Quality Cage.”

Makes pet homes, not cages
Instead of cutting corners to make products cheaper, the company has strived to manufacture first-rate products. “Whether it’s a rat, hamster – or a chinchilla – our customers are looking for safer, stronger, multi-level homes for their pets,” said the company’s general manager, Pam Domine. “We use designs and manufacturing techniques that promote a long, healthy life for the family’s pets.”

Because of their attention to detail, Quality Cage Company has become the nation’s #1 manufacturer of chinchilla homes and accessories. The design allows it to be folded nearly flat for shipping, and yet expand into a sturdy “Chinchilla Mansion” after being delivered to the customer’s home.

This rabbit show – many entrants are involved in 4-H clubs from Eugene north to Centralia – was held in the company’s warehouse on November 15.

Company hosts rabbit shows
With fewer counties and other municipalities supporting groups like 4-H, young rabbit breeding enthusiasts found they were no longer welcome at county fairs – and couldn’t afford to rent facilities in which to hold their shows.

To help them out, Quality Cage Company closes down for regular business, clears out their heated, well-lit warehouse, and welcomes breeders to hold their rabbit shows.

“It’s great that Quality Cage helps out by providing space for shows like this,” Vern Palmblad, an American Rabbit Breeder’s Association judge for 30 years, said while judging a Triple-Crown Mini Rex (a type of rabbit) show at the company. “It shows they really know and care about rabbit breeders. The young people can learn so much by attending a show like this one.”

The company maintains a factory showroom at 5942 SE 111th Ave. – one long block north of SE Foster Road. You can reach them at (503) 762-2607 or www.qualitycage.com.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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