Abandoned in a Shoe Box, Dabble has a New Home

We are thrilled to share an adoption update on a special-needs cat who has come a long way. Some of you may remember a story we shared over the holidays about a kitten named Dabble.

Tree House staffers found Dabble abandoned on our front ledge. Someone had placed him in a shoe box, punched holes in the top, taped it shut, and left him at our door.

When we found him, his legs were listless at his side. With months of physical therapy, socialization, and treatment, Dabble began to thrive, seemingly unphased by his disability.

We were grateful to receive a cat wheelchair that was donated by an organization that offers pet wheelchairs for cats and dogs. Dabble took to his new cart quickly. Yet, he also figured out how to maneuver very well on his own – scooting and crawling – gaining incredible upper body strength.

What had happened to Dabble remains a mystery. We determined his condition is most likely neurological.

We began introducing Dabble to other cats and people in our cat adoption rooms. Little did we know it would not take long before a chance encounter would lead to a new home.

A Chance Meeting

Josh, Meredith, and their two children came to Tree House looking for a cat to add to their family. They were not specifically looking for a special-needs cat, but when they met Dabble, they could not resist. It was a triumphant day when Dabble headed to his new home.

It has been several weeks, and Dabble has been doing remarkably well and is very happy having a loving home of his own.

Dabble, now named Toby, loves spending his mornings basking in the sun and snoozing in his basket by the window “looking overwhelmingly content.”
Meredith homeschools the children. Therefore, the family is home during the day providing a stable environment for Dabble with daily attention and care.

 

Meet the cook’s apprentices (a.k.a. the sniff masters). Dabble spends time in his cart each day (although he prefers to get around without it). He enjoys roaming in and out of the kitchen while Meredith cooks. He is often joined by the family dog, Bob, whom Dabble finds incredibly interesting. The two of them are endlessly fascinated by the various spices and curiously sniff each one. Here they are eagerly waiting for the next sniff test (or perhaps a little morsel).
 
Dabble is a great study buddy (or perhaps more often a distraction – but that is what cats are for). And we’ve learned he thinks Roxy, the family’s other cat who is taking a nap here, is the coolest, most interesting thing in the world. Dabble spent so much time in recovery, he had limited interaction with other cats. It is wonderful to find him so intrigued by his new cat sister.

 It’s Been Worth It

“Thanks to you all [at Tree House] for taking such good care of him! He’s such a people-oriented cat — it’s obvious that he has been surrounded by kind folks his whole life. He’s learning to climb onto the furniture, so whenever he sees an appealing lap, he’ll scamper right up and settle down for a snuggle.” Meredith went on to comment, “Toby’s (Dabble) an awesome little guy. It would be great if his story inspires someone else to take a chance on a cat who needs a little extra care. It’s been worth it for us!”

 

We wish the entire family – human and furry – many happy years together. We are grateful to Josh, Meredith, and their children for giving this special cat the home he deserved.

Give a Special-Needs Cat a Chance

At Tree House, we believe stray cats deserve a chance at a caring home, including those who might need extra care or who have physical disabilities or chronic illness. The joy and love these cats give in return is immeasurable.

Tree House Names New Executive Director

We are pleased to announce Raissa Allaire as Tree House Humane Society’s new Executive Director. She will be joining the organization effective Monday, May 21, 2018.

Raissa brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership including various roles over the past 12 years at The Center for Economic Progress (CEP). The Center is an award-winning, mid‐sized organization focused on improving the financial lives of 20,000 families in 15 Illinois communities. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the agency’s administrative operations and direct services and serving as a member of the organization’s leadership team.

During her tenure at CEP, she was responsible for developing and leading the organization’s fundraising and re-branding strategies.

Prior to joining CEP in 2006, Raissa served as a vice president for a Chicago museum and developed and managed communications campaigns for major non-profit clients as an account executive for a top-ranking public relations firm. Raissa earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Humanities from the University of Chicago. In 2016, she was selected for the Allstate Foundation’s Greater Good Leadership Program, created in partnership with Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management to help leaders transform their organization, community, and the nonprofit sector through year-long coaching and academic instruction.

Raissa, her husband, and two sons live in Berwyn. In 2016, Raissa and her family adopted Sulley and his son Sal, a pair of orange tabbies rescued from a hoarding situation. Since then, the family has made it their personal mission to find ways (small and large) to advocate on behalf of homeless cats.

Looking forward to her new role, Raissa comments, “I’m honored for this opportunity to help realize a world where every cat is valued. I am excited about building on the many successes Tree House staff, Board, volunteers, and partners have achieved to date – saving thousands of lives, creating an innovative  21st century shelter, and providing valuable services to Chicago’s community cats.”

The Tree House Board and staff look forward to working with Raissa to expand our efforts to save sick, injured, stray, and feral cats.

Please join us in welcoming Raissa to Tree House Humane Society.

Three Kittens Born Outside: Sick, Scared, Helpless

It was a cold, wintry day and these little strays were frightened, sick, and struggling to survive. No food, no water, no mom in sight. The kittens were only six weeks old and weighed less than two pounds. Without help, they would die.

Luckily, Robert, William, and Larry were found by a Good Samaritan. This caring woman took them to a veterinarian to get medical treatment, especially for their eye infections, but the treatments didn’t work. They were getting worse. She knew Tree House could save them and brought them in for urgent care.

Saving These Tiny Strays

Thankfully, these kittens were found in time. All three suffered from eye infections, Robert with the most severe. They were riddled with fleas and were battling upper respiratory infections. These kittens were in serious condition and in need of immediate care.

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Emergency Surgery to Save Robert

By the time Robert was found, his simple infection had become a very serious issue. His eye began to bulge from his eye socket before it finally ruptured. If he did not receive urgent treatment, this little guy might not survive.

Robert was rushed to Tree House, where he received late-night surgery to remove his eye – which was his only option. After his surgery, he went to foster care to recover in a quiet and caring environment.

Three Long Months of Multiple Illnesses

In addition to Robert’s urgent care, we provided his siblings, Larry and William, the treatments they needed. Thankfully, we were able to save both kittens’ eyes. They also suffered from serious upper respiratory infections and ringworm and spent months recovering in our clinic isolation units. But these resilient little guys fought back.

Safe at Home

Robert (now name Willie), Larry, and William (now name Max) had a long and tough road to recovery. Despite all they have lived through, these little guys are all loving and gentle cats. Each was adopted only days after they arrived on our adoption floor. All are healthy and happy; thriving in their new homes with lots of purring, playing, and contentment!

These kittens are the lucky ones. There are thousands more like them who do not survive. 

Please Help Us Save Them

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