Posted by StreetWise in From the Streets
Tree House Humane Society has broken ground in Rogers Park for what it has planned as one of the most innovative cat-centric shelter facilities in the U.S.
The $7 million, 15,000 square-foot adoption center, veterinary clinic and Cat Café is expected to open next spring on donated land at 7225 N. Western Ave. The new facility will have diverse cat suites equipped with a residential feel, healthy stimulation options, calming safe spaces and more natural daylight to improve cat welfare and human interaction.
Updated and more spacious isolation wards will be more easily sanitized, which will help decrease the spread of disease and quarantine time for new admissions, leading to quicker adoptions and more cats saved.
Tree House placed more than 1,000 cats in 2014 and officials say they aim to double that number in the first year of the new facility. Since its founding in 1971 as one of the nation’s first no-kill shelters, it has adopted out 20,000 animals and provided more than 30,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter packages.
“The goal is to bring programs, services, veterinary care, and education under one roof and provide guidance to animal lovers, ultimately creating a compassionate community and transforming animal welfare in Chicago and across the country,” said Tree House Executive Director David de Funiak.
Tree House sought design advice from Kate Benjamin and Jackson Galaxy of the Animal Planet TV series “My Cat From Hell” and from Dr. Sandra Newbury, DVM, director of the Shelter Medicine program at the University of Wisconsin in partnership with the University of California Davis, where she helped develop the Koret Shelter Medicine program; Newbury interned at Tree House in the 1990s.
The Dobbins Group, an award-winning Chicago architecture firm, designed the building to meet LEED certification requirements.
The organization has raised $5 million of the capital cost and will soon launch the “Every Dollar Counts” campaign to finish construction and outfit the facility. Tree House will relocate from a three-story house at 1212 W. Carmen Ave., which has been its home since 1975.
For more information, including a “fly-through” video of the new building, visit TreeHouseAnimals.org/NewBuilding
–Suzanne Hanney, from prepared materials