Forget the movie “101 Dalmatians”! How about a new Disney title, “111 Cats”? That’s approximately how many cats were living in a single house in a Chicago neighborhood until recently.
It’s difficult to imagine over 100 cats living inside a Chicago bungalow, but that’s exactly what happened in Chicago’s Belmont Central neighborhood. Jenny Schlueter of Tree House Humane Society said this evening that 111 cats have been removed from the house located at 6207 W. Roscoe Street. The house had previously been condemned by the City of Chicago, and today the house was boarded up by the city.
Judge Pamela Hughes Gillespie didn’t show much concern for the fate of the cats when she refused to extend the date for the city to seal the home. The Tree House Humane Society and Alderman Villegas had requested more time for the cats to be safely and humanely taken from the house. While the house may appear empty, those who know cats also know that they can hide in walls, rafters and other small spaces. It’s probable that there are still cats in the house. It does appear, however, that an opening exists in the house for the cats to escape.
Tree House Humane Society is caring for 66 of the cats at this time. Chicago Animal Care and Control had taken some of the cats, and caring neighbors are fostering some of them. It’s a huge undertaking, and there are more cats still to catch. Schlueter said that they will be trying to catch the remaining cats in the next few days. Most of the cats are black (ironically the hardest color to get adopted), so if anyone in the neighborhood sees a stray black cat, call the Tree House Humane Society to let them know.
Tree House still is in desperate need of foster homes for the cats. They will have been seen by a veterinarian before going to foster homes, so they will be healthy. Even a small extra bedroom could serve as a place for a foster cat to stay. Please consider helping by fostering a cat or two.
As was stated in “Rescue urgently trying to rescue 100 cats…” the Tree House Humane Society has been working frantically for over two weeks to catch as many of the abandoned cats as they can. While the neighbors, understandably, want the cats gone, most of them also want the removal to be done in as humane a manner as possible. Kudos to them! Living with the odor and sounds of that many cats could not have been easy.
To help with the efforts, contact Tree House at 773-784-5488, ext. 0, during office hours Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can also donate on their website. PAWS Chicago has also joined Tree House in their efforts. PAWS Chicago Communication Manager Sarah McDonald stated in an email that they are “making room to accommodate as many of the cats as we can in our program. We will provide free spay/neuter services, and work on relocating or getting the cats adopted, depending on their situation. PAWS Chicago will provide spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and medical services needed.” Judge Gillespie’s contact information is: Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Rm. 1111, Chicago, Illinois 60602, and her office phone number is (312) 603-4532.
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