36-hour pet adoption event set for Orland Hills
BY JACKIE TORTORELLO firstname.lastname@example.org July 15, 2014 8:14PM
South Suburban Humane Society volunteer Sarah Albers Fester, 13, of Flossmoor, swaddles a Chihuahua with a blanket Tuesday outside the shelter in Chicago Heights. | Casey Toner/Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 17, 2014 2:16AM
As furry friends wait in their cages, Emily Klehm and her team of volunteers are preparing to find them homes.
It’s been a long road for some of these animals, but volunteers believe an upcoming overnight adventure could give them a new start.
The South Suburban Humane Society this weekend will host its first-ever 36-hour adoption event at the Orland Hills PetSmart, 9277 W. 159th St.
The South Suburban Humane Society is based in Chicago Heights, but the Orland Hills site was chosen to meet the needs of staff and the 200 animals that are looking for homes.
Klehm, CEO of the South Suburban Humane Society, said the goal is to find homes for every animal at the shelter within 36 hours. That would be more than 200 new homes.
The clock starts ticking at 8 a.m. Saturday and finishes at 8 p.m. Sunday.
“You can have the best event in the world, but if people don’t come, you won’t get the adoptions,” Klehm said.
The event will be staffed by more than 35 volunteers working in shifts to meet the needs of the community though adoption services. The South Suburban Humane Society still is looking for volunteers through its network as well as the general public.
Klehm intends to work all 36 hours.
“We’re still looking for volunteers because we can only handle as many dogs as we have people,” she said.
During the event, dogs will be located outside, under a tent in the PetSmart parking lot. There will be few dogs under the age of 6 months, as the majority of dogs are adult or elderly.
During the event, adoption fees for dogs will be reduced from $150 to $36.
She said the South Suburban Humane Society “is an open-door shelter, so we accept any pet for any reason. These dogs come to us in all sorts of ways.”
Cats and kittens will be inside the PetSmart. Because of special funding from Purina, all cat and kitten adoption fees will be waived.
If people wish to adopt, they first must fill out an application and then participate in an on-site interview conducted by the South Suburban Humane Society. If the potential pet parents rent an apartment or live in condominiums, they must bring proof that pets are accepted there. Also, if those who wish to adopt are current dog owners, they must bring their pet with to meet the new addition to the family.
“We’re just looking for the best homes possible for our pets,” Klehm said.
The South Suburban Humane Society, 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, also houses animals through a strong foster community.
For more information, call (708) 755-7387.