March 16. 2016

Today, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance introduced by Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th Ward) permitting the operation of an Animal Shelter Café. This new legislation will pave the way for Tree House Humane Society to open the City of Chicago’s first ever “Cat Café” in the West Ridge neighborhood.

The newly created Animal Shelter Café Permit will allow humane societies to sell non-alcoholic beverages on their premises, giving cat and dog rescue facilities a powerful new tool for attracting potential adopters. The new permit will only be available to licensed humane societies whose missions are the rescue and placement of dogs or cats, and the sanitary conditions of the cafés will be strongly regulated.

“Cat Cafés are wildly popular throughout Asia, Europe and the United States,” Alderman Silverstein said. “The 50th Ward will soon be home to the City of Chicago’s first Cat Café and, thanks to this new ordinance, will set a trend that will spread throughout the city and the rest of the Midwest.”

The new Animal Shelter Café ordinance came about as part of a partnership between the 50th Ward and Tree House Humane Society. Tree House is making a major investment in the West Ridge community by building a state-of-the-art Adoption Center and Veterinary Clinic at 7225 N. Western Avenue. The Cat Café will be one of the many services that the new Center will offer, giving the public the opportunity to interact with the facility’s available cats in a relaxed manner that is conducive to adoption.

“We are extremely grateful to Alderman Silverstein and the City Council for making this dream a reality,” said David de Funiak, the executive director of Tree House Humane Society. “The Tree House Cat Café will provide a unique opportunity for individuals to interact with our rescued, adoptable cats, ultimately helping more animals find their forever home and enabling us to rescue even more.”

Tree House Humane Society is a nationally recognized force for the rescue and adoption of sick and injured stray cats. The new facility in the 50th Ward will allow the organization to provide compassionate care and loving homes to a much wider range of cats. The new Animal Shelter Café ordinance will allow Tree House and other humane societies to open cafés throughout the city.


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