Meet: Tree House Humane Society

Meet: Tree House Humane Society

The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its weakest members. - Gandhi

For more than 40 years Tree House has been caring exclusively for sick, injured and abused stray cats - cats that often had no other chance at a good life - but despite our best efforts and those of other shelters and animal welfare agencies around the country, the number of stray and feral cats is still not steadily decreasing as it should. - Tree House Humane Society

In 1971, a group of families came together and became their own force of animal welfare agents, creating an organization that would revolutionize the way the city of Chicago deals with stray cats. That organization became Tree House Humane Society.

Tree House is one of those rare organizations that employs real follow-through to their programs. For example, the Cats at Work program is a pilot program, active in the 47th Ward, in which cats are treated by the Tree House vets and fed by citizens who share their neighborhoods. These "displaced, feral cats" are often abandoned when their families move, are born to stray mothers, or are of unknown origin.

These lucky felines are under the care of Colony Caregivers, a program in which stray cats are trapped, neutered/spayed, returned to their neighborhoods and then fed regularly. In return, these cats help with rodent control. Tree House provides their caregivers with low cost food and healthcare, helping to absorb the cost of maintaining a colony of cats. These cats have been redeemed by this program, which keeps them healthy and fed in exchange for their existence. Their mere presence dissuades the rats; no need for the cats to engage in battle at all.

There is an article from CBS that goes into a bit more detail here, and for more information about the 47th Ward and the pilot Cats at Work program you can check out the 47th ward's website here.

Not only does Tree House provide food for their caregiver volunteers, but they also have a food pantry for people that are living in low-income situations. Also, if an individual is living on a fixed income or has limited means but would still like to get their cat spayed or neutered, there are options through Tree House’s low cost spay and neuter clinic.

In addition to these wonderful programs, Tree House also offers education and outreach, animal advocacy, and grief seminars. They do all of this from a small, cramped facility in the Uptown neighborhood, which is why they are working on a new facility that will house their residents and offices at 7255 N. Western. This new, state of the art building will allow the folks at Tree House to better assist the community and the community cats. You can view the plans for the new facility and make much needed donations to the construction project on the Tree House website.

You can read about Tree House's programs in detail here.

I didn't even talk about their amazing adoption team, you can read about my own adoption experience and check out their page about all the cats currently up for adoption.

Tree House Humane Society's website:

Next week we'll take a look at the unique challenges of an organization that needs less in terms of manpower and more support from the community. In the meantime, please check out their page and the ways you can help through donations of food and litter.





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  • I am partial - in full disclosure, I am on the Board at Tree House....but very proud to be. Thank you so much for the nice write up.

  • Thanks, Dale! It's an amazing organization, you should be proud. Thanks for commenting!

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