It would be a an understatement to say things have been a bit crazy at the South Suburban Humane Society since they took in the Dolton Seven in early December. The rescue of seven dogs from a Dolton dogfighting ring was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but gave the organization some much-needed publicity. Since that time, a lot of great things have been happening at the Chicago Heights shelter.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people,” says Emily Klehm, CEO of SSHS. “The story went on WGN and MSNBC and we had donations from all over – New York to California. It’s amazing the number of people that not only donated supplies but also checked on the well being of the dogs. We’ve had special rescues before, but none on this level and we’ve been surprised.”
This week is about to get a bit crazier thanks to one of the organizations that found out about SSHS thanks to the Dolton Seven. Mobile Mutts, a national organization that transports dogs from open admission shelters to other rescues, did a supply drive for SSHS and dropped off their haul just before Christmas, including stockings for the Dolton Dogs.
The organization has a passion for pit bulls and SSHS has a lot in their care. When Mobile Mutts saw the old warehouse that houses the shelter, they got an idea – an Extreme Shelter Makeover. This week, their idea is about to come to fruition with an Extreme Adoption Event followed by the Makeover.
Extreme Adoption Event – Empty the Shelter
On Wednesday, SSHS will try to clear the shelter with an attempt to adopt out all of the animals in their care. The Extreme Makeover SSHS Edition – Empty the Shelter event is set to run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Adoption fees on all cats and kittens will be waived and dog and puppy fees will be just $50.
“It is so much easier to remodel the shelter if you don’t have all the animals here and it would have been difficult to find foster and kennel placements for all of them,” says Klehm. “We thought an Extreme Adopt-A-Thon would help more of our animals find homes. Although cat adoption fees are waived and dogs fees are greatly reduced, our regular policies apply.”
They do have boarding facilities and fosters to take in those animals that are not adopted out on Wednesday. SSHS waived cat adoption fees on Black Friday and found homes for 29 cats and kittens in one day. The organization also waived fees for the 12 Days of Catmas during the holidays.
“When people adopt any animal from us, they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped,” says Klehm. “Both the ASPCA and PetSmart Charities have done studies focusing on free adoption programs and found that it has been great for adoption and long-term placement if you follow your procedures.”
Extreme Makeover – SSHS Edition
Mobile Mutts has pitched in to help with fundraising and promoting the Extreme Makeover to help SSHS get rolling in the right direction. This coming Friday, January 25 through Sunday, January 27 volunteers will descend on the shelter to start all the work.
“We are in an old warehouse and it’s not the most cheerful place,” says Klehm. “We’ll be doing projects that will make the shelter easier to clean and more efficient and it will also be brighter and more welcoming to adopters so people want to come here. We’ll be painting, adding murals and floor art to brighten up the shelter.”
Other projects on the agenda include installing commercial sinks and renovating dog and puppy isolation rooms. Donations are still needed and volunteers are also still needed to get all the work completed. Sign up to volunteer at email@example.com or register online. Volunteers are especially needed in the building trades and donations of Home Depot and Menards gift cards would be greatly appreciated.
Tomorrow, we’ll do an update on the Dolton Seven (see story) and also focus on some other great things happening at the Chicago Heights facility. Learn more online or follow the South Suburban Humane Society on Facebook.
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