ABOUT TREE HOUSE
Tree House has been around for a long time–more than 50 years, in fact! You may have questions about who we are, and how we operate. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of Tree House.
What is Tree House Humane Society?
Tree House Humane Society is a humane organization that is best known as Chicago’s first cage-free cat shelter, started in 1971. Tree House exists to help stray, injured, abused, and abandoned cats. We also offer a wide variety of programs to help animals and the people who live with them. Explore our website or give us a call at 773-262-4000 if you have questions.
HOW DID TREE HOUSE GET STARTED?
A small group of caring people were concerned about the lack of services for animals in Chicago. They held meetings, planned, and organized. They also took in needy strays and cared for them in their own homes. Once their ideas began to take hold, they formed the organization that would take the name of Tree House Humane Society. You can read more about it here!
ARE YOU ALL VOLUNTEERS?
No. We have dedicated full-time staff who help us care for our cats and run our programs 7 days a week. We also have over 200 hard working, dedicated volunteers working side by side with our staff. Volunteers do work in every area of Tree House–from cat care to data entry, from Board service to canvassing.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR OPERATING FUNDS? DO YOU GET GOVERNMENT GRANTS?
Tree House Humane Society is funded by donations, adoption fees, and merchandise sales. We do apply for private and corporate grants when we can, but we rely on the generosity of caring individuals like you for the majority of our funding. We do not receive any government assistance. Learn more about our financials here!
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TREE HOUSE?
Explore our website or give us a call at 773-262-4000 if you have questions! At Tree House we are very proud of our service to the cats and the community! You should stop in for a visit and see the shelter for yourself. We love to show off our shelter and our great cats!
It’s natural to have a lot of questions as you prepare to add a new pet to your family! There’s a lot more detail listed on our Adoption Process & Requirements page if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.
DO YOU HAVE DOGS AT TREE HOUSE?
We are not licensed to shelter dogs on our property. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t love and care for them, too. Dogs are welcome at our Veterinary Wellness Center, and we proudly work alongside our industry colleagues to ensure a world where every pet thrives.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ADOPT FROM TREE HOUSE?
All of our current adoption fees are reflected on our Adoption Page. Adoption fees includes spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, and complete vaccinations. In general, we aim to keep our adoption fees low to reduce the barrier to pet adoption!
CAN I ADOPT AN UNSPAYED/UNNEUTERED CAT?
No. With more than 4 million unwanted cats and dogs euthanized each year, we cannot allow any Tree House Humane Society cat to be adopted out prior to spay or neuter.
Tree House is a managed admission shelter, which means we have policies and procedures around how cats come through our doors. If you’re curious to learn more about our intake process, you can read all about it here!
I WOULD LIKE TO ADMIT MY CAT TO TREE HOUSE. WILL YOU TAKE HIM?
Tree House Humane Society’s focus is to aid sick, injured, and abused stray cats. And as such, we cannot take owner surrenders. We must place priority with those cats that have no one to speak for them! If you would like to call Tree House Humane Society at (773) 262-4000, we would be happy to direct you to a shelter that might be able to assist you. We frequently recommend calling Chicago Animal Care and Control or Anti-Cruelty Society, both of which are in Chicago.
THERE’S A STRAY CAT IN MY ALLEY. WILL YOU TAKE HER?
Stray admissions are handled according to appointment availability and shelter space. Please call our reception desk at (773) 262-4000 and let our staff know about the cat’s situation.
DO YOU EVER TURN ANIMALS AWAY?
Our model cage-free Adoption Center is designed to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured strays – those that would face immediate euthanasia at many other shelters. Because of the vast number of stray and unwanted animals, no shelter could possibly take them all. That is why Tree House Humane Society attacks the homeless animal problem on all fronts – with spay and neuter services, humane education, behavior counseling, assistance for low-income cat and dog owners, as well as sheltering.
YOUR TREE HOUSE
We all have deeply personal relationships with our pets, and everyone at Tree House cares deeply for every single cat in our care. There may be more questions you have on how to give your cat the best life possible! We’re here to help. Check out our Resources page for more.
MY NEW PARTNER DOES NOT LIKE MY CAT. WILL YOU TAKE MY CAT?
It might take time to introduce your cat to the new person in your life. There are several ways to introduce the new person in your life to your companion animal. With time and a little patience you and your new partner can both enjoy the company of your cat together. Tree House can offer you advice to help introduce your companion animal to the new person in your life. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 773-262-4000!
MY CAT (SCRATCHES MY FURNITURE, WON’T USE THE BOX, BITES, ETC.) WHAT CAN I DO?
Cats are complex creatures! There could be many reasons for your cat’s behavior. It is always a good idea to first consult with your veterinarian if your cat displays a new, odd behavior. You can also call us at 773-262-4000 for more assistance.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON DECLAWING CATS?
Tree House Humane Society does not support declawing. Scratching is a natural activity for cats and should be directed towards items intended for that use, like a scratching post or pad.
MY ANIMAL IS IN NEED OF EMERGENCY CARE. CAN I BRING HIM TO YOU?
Tree House is not set up to be an emergency clinic and cannot assist with emergency care. Please locate your nearest emergency clinic.