WEST RIDGE — Tree House Humane Society is expanding its offerings in West Ridge, providing affordable veterinary services to local pet owners and stray animal organizations.
Tree House opened its veterinary wellness center Tuesday at its headquarters at 7225 N. Western Ave. The humane society group opened in Uptown in 1971 and moved to West Ridge in 2017, where it opened a shelter for cats.
In 2019, the group opened Chicago’s first cat cafe at its West Ridge facility. Now, Tree House is debuting a vet center that will offer low-cost care to pets that are in homes and ones looking for homes, said Raissa Allaire, executive director of Tree House Humane Society.
Animal care expenses can often lead owners to give up their pets, leaving them on the street or at a shelter like Tree House’s. Offering low-cost vet services can keep pets out of such situations, Allaire said.
“We asked, ‘How do we prevent animals from entering shelters in the first place?'” Allaire said. “We recognized there is such a need for affordable pet care. We want to make sure that is not a barrier” for pet owners.
Tree House’s veterinary wellness center offers services for dogs and cats.
The center is not meant to replace a pet’s primary care veterinarian, Allaire said. Rather, it is trying to help new and low-income pet owners with issues like spay and neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and testing.
Tree House has “volume pricing” to make its services more affordable to animal rescue organizations. It also has a discounted pricing menu for clients on government assistance, Allaire said. For more on its pricing and services, click here.
Tree House’s cage-less cat shelter includes an intake veterinary clinic. But having the new public-facing vet wellness center will help the organization reach more pets and their owners — and expand its services to dogs. The humane society estimates there are 73,000 cats and dogs living in low-income households within 10 miles of its vet center.
“That clinic is focused on adoptable cats,” Allaire said. “We didn’t have capacity to help the general public.”
Tree House already scheduled 250 vet appointments before its wellness center even opened to the public, showing the demand for such services, Allaire said.
The wellness center is within Tree House’s headquarters, which includes its cat shelter and cat cafe. The cat cafe, which gives a second chance at life for cats with feline leukemia, reopened for dine-in customers March 19.
“Our hope is to be a resource for the community and animal welfare organizations,” Allaire said.
Tree House’s veterinary wellness center, 7225 N. Western Ave., is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information on how to make an appointment, click here.
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