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.

Love,

Tree House.

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

The CATalyst Winter 2020 Magazine is Now Available

BEHOLD the wonder of The CATalyst!

Hear ye! Hear ye! The newest edition of The CATalyst is now available for your reading pleasure!

Curious about Obesity in Cats? Read what Tree House Veterinarian Dr. Emily Swiniarski has to say about how Tree House handles it.

Are you preparing to get a new cat this year? Read up on what you need to prepare your friend’s home prior to their arrival.

Did you miss Lights of Love in 2019? Read about the highlights!

There’s plenty more packed into this 16 pages of Tree House goodness, so grab your copy now. They’re available in our lobby or you can download it online in PDF form.

If you like it, share with your friends! You can even share with your enemies. It’s so good, they might even become your friends. You won’t know until you try.

Love,

Tree House.

Outdoor Cat Shelters Now in Stock Thanks to Merrick Gives Back

We’re pleased to say today that we are fully stocked on outdoor shelters for our colony caretakers and their cats, so if you need one, come on by because they have been freshly made by Team Merrick!

the merrick team stands in the tree house lobby by our logo

As part of their Merrick Gives Back initiative, Merrick’s Evanston-office team members visited Tree House to build shelters that our community members can use to keep cats warm in the winter and give them a shady place to stay in the summer, too. “Give Back’ is a foundational value at Merrick,” they told us. “As a company, we believe that everyone can, and should, make a difference. This attitude of service motivates us to help each other and contribute more than is asked to our Merrick family and community.”

If you didn’t already know, all of our cats are powered by Merrick food. If you come in to visit and you see cats zooming around their colonies filled with energy, that’s because they’re filled with Merrick. If you come in and see cats snoozing away without a care in the world, that’s because they’re hard at work digesting their Merrick. Point being, all of our little guys are served Merrick foods. And we are VERY thankful for that support, because it allows us to take our worries away from meal planning and instead focus our thoughts on life saving.

Merrick also asked us if we would give them an opportunity to do something as a team to not only feed our hungry little charges but also to do something for the cat community at large. We hooked them up with our Community Cats Field Specialist Paul Nickerson (previously known to all as half of #ZZTrap until he so flippantly shaved off his beard) for a day of volunteerism.

The Merrick Team with former #ZZTrap member Paul Nickerson, seen at right with the naked face.

Merrick got to work with power tools, insulation, and upbeat attitudes building the tiny homes and refreshing our stock for the winter months ahead. The plastic tubs stuffed with insulation and straw will keep hundreds of cats dry, warm, and comfortable.They finished an incredible 140 shelters in just 3 hours. And they’re quality. We checked!

So, if you need a shelter, come to Tree House. Large ones are $35; Small ones are $25; keeping a cat warm is priceless.

And, if you want to find out more about becoming a colony caretaker or getting some TNR assistance in your area, OR you want to have a corporate volunteer event here, email us at infoATtreehouseanimals.org for more information.

Sending a huge thanks to Merrick for all they do for Tree House. Thank you!

Love,

Tree House.

[FTC Disclosure: Tree House has a partnership with Merrick to receive food product from them for our cats.]

Here Comes Santa Paws’ Holiday Deliveries!

Walter is already wrapped up and ready to go.

Picture this: It’s a cozy Saturday afternoon. Snow is falling. There’s the faint ring of jingle bells in the distance. You’re snuggled up by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa in hand (extra marshmallows, of course) when suddenly you hear a faint pawing at the door…

There, in your doorway, is Saffy Claws and her team of elves! They’ve traveled through a wintry wonderland to arrive at your doorstep, and they didn’t come empty-handed —

They’ve brought a perfectly furry new addition for your home!

“HO, HO, HO, MEOWY CHRISTMAS!”

This holiday season, Tree House is ready to make this magical vision your reality with our Winter Wonderlove Adoption Delivery throughout December. Whether you’re a parent looking to surprise your child with the kitty they’ve been asking for all year long or a caring friend ready to help your loved one find their perfect match this Christmas, we’re excited to help create this special moment with you.

We know what you’re thinking. This sounds like a can’t-miss opportunity…

So don’t miss it! Visit the shelter between noon and 6:00 p.m. on December 12-13, 19-20, or 26-27 to choose your new feline family member and reserve your delivery for the following Saturday. Deliveries, completed on Saturday December 14, 21, and 29, can be reserved for a $100 fee (in addition to regular adoption fees) and will include a Sleepypod Cat Carrier, a gift package from Bentley’s on Devon, and a visit from Saffy Claws and her team of Tree House elves.

With an endless supply of cuddles, meows, headbutts, and more, Tree House kitties truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

After all, what’s a tree without a kitty underneath it?

Questions about how to participate? Email our Adoptions team at info@treehouseanimals.org for more information. (Updated after publishing to include gift package from Bentley’s.)

The Lights Are Lit! See the Lights of Love Highlights

Thanks to everyone from near and far who made Lights of Love a grand success! Almost 300 people came together to enjoy live music by etc. Music School, donuts from Stan’s Donuts, food from Wow Bao, Foodlife, and Hub 51. Our 20th annual Lights of Love presented by VCA and Heal was tremendous fun and we truly believe it was our best Lights of Love ever.

Our staff went out of their way to deck out the shelter this year with a 15-foot tall tree donated by a generous family. Wreaths adorned almost every door and window and trees lined our hallways, all lit up in honor and memory of loved ones as part of our Lights of Love holiday appeal. That same appeal brought us hundreds of tags hand-decorated by our supporters from all over the country, which are now festooned like garland throughout the shelter where they will hang until the new year, and where visitors can read them and share in the love.

Some new additions to this year’s event included Virtual Adoptions so attendees could take home a tiny Tree House kitten representative in a scale model of our adoption box. They sold like little hot cakes! We also had face painting, holiday drinks in the cafe with a Marshmallow Bar, a wish tree for our cats (they got half of the yoga mats they need to start those Cafe yoga classes they’ve been dreaming about!), photos with Saffy Claws, a visit from Zoe the foster kitten, Hats on Cats, and more fun stuff.

We truly cannot thank everyone enough for making this the community event of the year here at Tree House. We are already planning for next year! Enjoy the photos from this year, taken by Sprung Photo, and stop on by when we’re open to see the lights still shining bright until 2020. We can’t wait to see you.

Love,

Tree House.

Tree House Partners With Pets For Patriots To Help Veterans Adopt

Everyone deserves good snuggles, but veterans especially!

Veterans Day is Monday, November 11th. On this day, we remember the brave individuals who have served on our behalf, but did you know that Tree House honors our veterans 365 days of the year through our ongoing partnership with Pets for Patriots?

No? Well let’s get you up to date.

Pets for Patriots is a nonprofit organization that helps United States military veterans adopt a new pet friend while giving the most overlooked shelter cats and dogs hope and a home. Check them out here.

As one of their shelter partners, Tree House provides veterans with a discounted adoption fee at $50 to adopt an adult cat. It’s simple. If you’re a veteran, you can get online and pre-qualify for the program. After that, head to Tree House. You bring your qualification letter, we’ll bring the kitties, and we’ll all have a little party on the adoption floor.

We’ll hoot and holler. We’ll look like this.

We’re proud to partner with Pets for Patriots in connecting our veterans with the cats who need their love. See which kitties are currently waiting for their forever homes, and maybe pass their photo along to a veteran in your life this Veterans Day.

Love,

Tree House

GET IN LINE FOR STAN’S DONUTS

This is Stan:

Note that he’s clearly snuggling some kittens, which we at Tree House have dubbed “The Donuts.”

You see, we pulled Stan from CACC, our city shelter, and found that four kittens had decided he was their new mom. It’s rare to see a male cat so receptive to the charms of kittens, but here we have proof in Stan, a fellow with a kind heart but a stoic demeanor, willing to let kittens try to suckle his nonexistent milk. Have a look:

The kittens and Stan need a bit of medical care for upper respiratory infections, so they’ll be in foster for the next few weeks. But after that, LINE UP! These guys are going to go like hot cakes, and to further sweeten the deal, ::insert drumroll here::

Stan’s Donuts is going to give each adopter a dozen donuts.

Yup. A dozen.

WHO DOESN’T WANT KITTENS AND DONUTS?

So, decide now if you want Apple Fritter, Peanut Butter Pocket, Beignet, or Boston Creme, or you can really take the cake and adopt Stan himself. You won’t find a more laid back, cool cat than Stan.

Stay tuned to Instagram @treehousehumanesociety for updates and more pics!

Love,

Tree House.

Oh la la, look at this saucy little Peanut Butter Pocket.

Tree House Is Participating in Clear the Shelters

Once again, Tree House will be taking part in the NBC/Telemundo Chicago Clear the Shelters big event, where we welcome many potential adopters to our location and waive all of our adoption fees for the day for kitties 6 months of age and older.

This year, we’ll be welcoming Pet Supplies Plus to our shelter, and they might have a few little surprises to give to our visitors.

Additionally, you’ll get a chance to meet and greet Saffron P. Sorbet, better known as Saffy P, our fabulous calico mascot. She’ll be dancing around and celebrating the occasion of all her furry friends finding their forever fhomes. (Sorry, but we had to keep the alliteration going.)

a large calico cat in orange, black, and white mascot costume
Saffy P Sorbet, the big cat who speaks for the little cats. (Well, ok, she doesn’t speak at all, but actions are louder than words, anyway.)

So, if you’re ready to adopt the love of your life, set aside some time this Saturday, August 17th between 12 pm to 6 pm and get up here to Tree House. Our kitties have all their bags packed and are prepped and ready.

Love,

Tree House.

Update: Post was updated at 12:38 pm CST August 16th to specify that adoption fees are waived for cats 6 months of age and older.

FeLV Fosters Needed – We’re Offering A Sweet Perk

If you haven’t heard by now, Leonardo Pescatore, our two-year resident and carrier of FIV and FeLV, was finally adopted! We heard it might have been because of his #ChickenHatProtest when he wore a chicken hat (at his discretion, when he felt like it) to bring attention to his incredibly long length of stay. Such was the success of the chicken hat that Leonardo left instruction upon his departure to name a worthy successor in the hope that its magic will work once again. Who did he name? We’ll tell you at the end of the post, but first we need you to know something about FeLV+ cats.

Cats like Leonardo often don’t get a chance to find a home. Up until very recently, cats with FeLV were euthanized immediately upon entry to a shelter. The virus wasn’t well understood and the cats who carried it were feared.

Tree House is one of a few shelters in the world offering a safe place for cats with FeLV. You’ll notice we feature them in our Cat Cafe. Currently, we have roughly 9 spots in our shelter – they live separately in their own colonies, away from the general population to minimize any spread of the virus, which could happen for cats with underdeveloped or compromised immune systems. Each time one of these cats is adopted, a spot opens up in our cafe or adoption floor and we bring in a new FeLV+ kitty from other shelters and from foster homes.

Being the forward thinkers that we are, Tree House started wondering how we can help even more of these special kitties. We can’t increase space in our shelter, but we CAN increase space in our foster homes, and that’s where YOU come in! We need YOU to open your home to our FeLV+ waiting list.

We’ll bet you never looked at your spare bedroom or back office and thought “Man, this room is lifesaving.” Well, it is! It can absolutely save a life or two because you can fill it with an FeLV+ cat that we can pull from another shelter and take into the Tree House family. The cats can then be transferred onto our floor when space is available, OR they can be adopted right out of your home as part of our Home Base program. Either way, we all win.

And what’s the “Sweet Perk” mentioned above? Anyone who agrees to foster an FeLV cat gets free admission for life to our Cat Cafe and 10% off any drinks. That’s a pretty impressive club to be a card-carrying member of, we think.

Ready to save a life? Apply to foster.

And who shall carry on the #ChickenHatProtest in Leo’s stead? Watch and find out. The reveal is epic, we promise.

Love,

Tree House.