Rescue Rewards Group of the Week - January 23, 2012

Tree House Humane Society Helps Stray and Feral Cats In Chicagoland Area

Cats represent the largest number of animals being killed at shelters all over the country.  In the Chicagoland area for the past four decades, the Tree House Humane Society has made a huge difference to give stray and feral cats a chance at a better life.  To date, Tree House has found homes for over 16,000 cats and provided low-cost spay and neuter services to over 20,000 cats and dogs in Chicago.

Tree House’s specialty has been to rescue the sick, injured, abused and neglected cats that many other shelters and rescues won’t admit. Once they’re taken in and nursed back to health, the cats are housed throughout the cageless, no-kill shelter until they find a home. Tree House also hosts a variety of other programs that include community education, a pet food pantry for low-income families, and monitoring Chicago’s feral cat community.  From their Bucktown location, they also provide a low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

This coming spring, the organization hopes to launch a new chapter as they break ground on a state-of-the-art adoption facility in Rogers Park.

“We’ve expanded and retrofitted as much as we can at our headquarters on Carmen and really need to build a new facility to house our many programs,” says Jenny Schlueter, development director & Feral Friends TNR program manager. “We take in so many cats that are sick or injured and we do what we can to get them healthy and to shorten isolation time while keeping our current population healthy. Because of that, we clean intensely to keep our facility sterile. Our new shelter will need to be constructed with materials that are easier to clean. Better ventilation through a new HVAC-system is also important.

“Since we are having the building designed to our specifications, we will be able to better organize the space to house our cats. For cats that are shy and stressed out by the shelter environment, we’ll be adding single and double cat condos to give them longer acclimation periods to settle into our shelter environment,” said Schlueter.

To read more about Tree House, go to