BENEFITING: TREE HOUSE HUMANE SOCIETY
EVENT DATE: Aug 01, 2015
As most of you know, I am a longtime Tree House Humane Society volunteer and very proud of the work we do through our Animal Assisted Therapy program (AAT). I’ll be jogging the annual 5K Stray Cat Strut next month and hope to raise at least $1,000 before the event kicks off on August 1st. Please consider donating through my page to support the construction of our new Adoption Center and Veterinary Clinic, promote spay/neuter throughout Chicagoland, and help all the furry friends at our cageless, no-kill adoption centers.
Many of you wanted to learn more about our Animal-Assisted Therapy program. Well, twice a month or so, I'm joined by my fellow AAT volunteer partners Rhoda and Kara at The Grove nursing home in Chicago with select Tree House kitties in tow. We always begin our visits by spending some time on the lobby couch to let the kitties get acclimated to the new environment before we make the rounds. (They wear harnesses or vests with leases for their safety.) Once the kitties are ready, we pop into the resident’s rooms to see if they are awake and if they would like to visit with our kitties. Some are sleeping or don't like cats (as if!), so we move on with a wave and a smile. If someone does want a visit, we'll let the kitties curl up on their bed for some snuggling or hold the kitties as the residents pet them. Some are able to hold the kitties and enjoy cuddling up with our intrepid felines on their laps while others like to pet the kitties on their bedside table. Our visits also let us spread good cheer to the hard-working nursing home staff and devoted family members who are visiting their loved ones.
I love doing animal-assisted therapy because I see how much joy and comfort our kitties bring to the residents. Many are so very lonely and look forward to our visits very much. Some have cried at the sight of our kitties, remembering cherished pets from their past. Others just enjoy our company as we offer a friendly, patient ear to whatever they may wish to share. Best of all? The kitties always seem to sense who is feeling worse than usual and will be their best around the residents who need it most. We have many longtime residents that we've come to know quite well over the last 4 years – it’s wonderful to greet them by name, ask about their family, and build strong bonds over time. It's with Tree House's support that we're able to make our visits. Please consider donating today. Tree House is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
** In honor of my beloved kitty, Cuban – you brought me unconditional love for 12 wonderful years. I miss you so.