Continuing its tradition of helping homeless cats and dogs find loving homes, north suburban Riverwoods' Orphans of the Storm has again expanded its operations to include a permanent adoption center in downtown Highland Park.
Founded in 1928 by fashion and dance icon Irene Castle, Orphans of the Storm provides a safe place, medical care, food and attention for about 400 cats and dogs to find forever homes. Its forested Riverwoods location serves as the primary location, but as their needs have grown, they have added facilities to meet them.
Ruth Helen Wolf Animal Clinic & Hospital in Libertyville, opened in 2001, provides medical care for both shelter animals and pets of local families. Weekend showcase locations in Gurnee and Northbrook offer the public a chance to meet and adopt from a small selection of fully vetted cats and dogs in convenient locations. The newest location also serves as a showcase, and allows potential adopters and donors to donate, visit with and adopt the animals five days a week.
An open house on October 22nd welcomed interested adopters and helped the community to learn more about this new location. According to Co-manager Danny Silver, adoptions during the morning of the event matched those of an average week at this location, which specializes in making screened, adoptable dogs and cats available for adoption on the spot.
At any given time, 5-6 dogs and 4-7 cats will take up temporary residence at this adoption center before other adoptable dogs and cats rotate in from the main Riverwoods location. Instead of the cages many adopters have become used to at animal shelters, clean, glass-walled mini rooms give cats and dogs space to move around, people-watch, get some sunshine, and be seen in all their fuzzy cuteness.
Sunshine, soft kitty beds on the window sill, cat trees to climb and perfect views of the humans make this a cut above the average feline adoption location. Even the comfy chairs for humans to watch the cats speak to the experience and understanding of the staff.
A semi-private space with comfortable seating and room to play makes a first meeting more relaxed and helps potential adopters learn if the dog or cat they've selected would be a good fit. There is a private walking trail in the back as well, for outdoor meetings.
It can be hard to resist that warm, liquid gaze of an animal who has decided that you're their human, and a one-on-one without the distraction of other animals or people can be extremely helpful in making sure it's a great match.
See? Those eyes. It's hard to resist those eyes.
Orphans of the Storm's Highland Park adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours on Thursdays.
Orphans of the Storm Highland Park Adoption Center
468 Central Avenue
Highland Park, IL 60035
For more information about Orphans of the Storm, the Ruth Helen Wolf Animal Clinic & Hospital, or any of their three satellite adoption locations, visit www.orphansofthestorm.org.
Photos by Judith Singer