Dogs in Our Wellness Center? But of Course!

Dear Tree House Team,

We recently announced that we are opening a Veterinary Wellness Center in spring of 2021. We also announced that that wellness center would service dogs in addition to cats. We have a few notes we want to share about that second part.

line drawings of dog and cat on logo
Yup. That, right there, is a very conspicuous dog.

Now, we know that some people like to classify themselves as a “dog person” or a “cat person,” and some revel in the moniker “bi-petual.” At Tree House, we believe not in dog people or cat people but in good people, people who care about the well being of other creatures, be they fabulous, regal felines or raucous, barking, posterior-sniffing animals of the canine varietal.

And we know that all these good people want all creatures to have access to healthcare, spay/neuter services, and happy, healthy lives.

Therefore, we’ve decided to include dogs in our clientele, not only because of what we said above but for some other reasons, as well. For instance:

  • We did a feasibility study and found that many pet owners have both dogs and cats (we see you, bipetuals). It would be difficult to ask pet owners to go to two veterinary offices, so we’re making it easy. And easy = more spays/neuters and fewer homeless pets.
  • To make this initiative sustainable so that we don’t draw resources away from the programs we are already known for, we need to help dogs, too. If the center was cats only, we’d have to seek future subsidies from our general operations and we refuse to skimp on even one bag of catnip. Not one.
  • We conducted interviews with our founders and long-time supporters during the inception of this project and 99% of them were excited and receptive to helping dogs, too, because they care about animals as a whole.
  • This is an opportunity to help address affordable vet care, a major barrier for animal guardians and a large reason why pets end up in shelters in the first place.
  • History shows that non-profits can be successful at augmenting their community outreach with projects that are complementary to their mission. Think resale shops whose benefits go to supporting the original mission.

We’re thinking ahead about keeping everyone cozy, as well. We are working with an architect/contractor who specializes in high-volume clinics with an emphasis on creating stress-free environments. In other words, we will be keeping those kitties as stress-free as possible while we inhibit their procreation proclivities alongside their doggie friends.

This is adopted Tree House cat Louie Sorbet comforting his doggie friend Dixie when she was sick.

So, it’s true: dogs will be all up in the house, and Tree House will still be Tree House. We will be doing the same fantastic work for the cats of Chicago and beyond that we have been doing since 1971, and you can continue to count on us to be the cat experts that we are.

We are SO excited about this project and absolutely cannot wait to open our Veterinary Wellness Center in 2021. We look forward to having you all there to celebrate with us. Bring your kids, parents, friends, and heck, bring your dogs, too.


Tree House.

Dixie feels better now and Louie is grateful to have his friend healthy and well.

All Aboard the Shelter Skippers Foster Program!

Do you know what time it is? It’s about quarter to kitten season and that means Tree House is ramping up our foster team efforts with a brand new program: Shelter Skippers.

Calling all potential Captains! Our goal is to get these kitties cruising from foster straight into forever without ever touching the shelter. Why would we want to do this?

  • It increases our capacity for care – if cats don’t come into the shelter, we have more available floor space to help more cats
  • It’s less stressful for the cats – having to switch homes one less time is going to be better for cats whose lives are already in flux
  • Some cats show better in homes – the shelter, despite our best efforts, can be stressful – Other animals, new smells, new people every day. Many cats show their personalities much better in a home setting, which will help them get adopted faster so they can start their new lives being loved as soon as possible.

So, what are the differences between our previous foster program and Shelter Skippers? In the Shelter Skippers program, we’re asking our fosters to become active advocates for the cats in their care. This will include:

  • Advertising the cats with a public social media presence. Fosters are asked to turn their foster charges into online superstars. Well, OK, we don’t expect them to become the next Grumpy Cat, but we do ask that they become a regular part of your social media postings. The more their faces get seen, the quicker they will be adopted. And think of all the cute nautical themes you can use!
  • Posting a lawn sign, wearing a button (Ask me about my Skipper!), or handing out info cards about your cat(s)
  • Serving as an adoption advocate for interested adopters. Tree House will handle initial inquiries and paperwork, and then potential adopters will visit the foster cat in the foster parents’ home. Captains of the Skipper Squads (e.g. foster parents) will conduct the showing and provide feedback to Tree House about how it went.
  • Be there for the pick up. Adopters will come directly to your home to pick up their new family member.

Interested in helping Tree House expand our life-saving capacities? Then come to a Shelter Skippers info session to find out more! We’ll be holding them Thursday, February 13th at 6 pm and Saturday, February 22nd at 11 am. Can’t make either? We’ll be hosting a call in conference line to make it easier to attend (email for details). Still can’t get there? Email us.

If you’re already a foster parent, you can choose to take part in the Shelter Skippers program or not, depending on your comfort level. In either case, you’re a major part of why we can do what we do and we appreciate you.

TOOT TOOT! ALL ABOARD THE SKIPPER SHIP! Let’s get these kitties adopted!


Tree House.

Tree House’s TNR Fees Are Now Lowered to $30

Have you been dying to neuter an alley full of cats but our $50 TNR fee seemed out of reach? Well, worry no longer. Tree House is lowering our TNR fees to $30, effective immediately.

He’s just heard about our plans. He’s still processing the information.

Cats all around Chicago are scurrying under cars as they hear the news, but they’re no match for our expert Colony Caretakers and trappers. You will find them, you will trap them, and we (well, specifically Dr. Emily) will neuter them. And spay them. And microchip and vaccinate and provide flea treatment.

All for $30.

We believe this is in line with our mission to reach as many cats as possible in the Chicago area to help stem the tide of kittens that is rising with the temperatures. Spaying and neutering also prevents the spread of diseases like FIV and FeLV, as well as illnesses due to overcrowding and malnourishment. With a more accessible fee, we hope to reach more cats and communities than ever before.

TNR services are available to registered colony caretakers by appointment only. Interested in becoming one? Email us at or call 773-262-4000.





Tree House.