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'Grumpy Cat' to Help Raise Money for New Cat Shelter on Western Avenue

By Benjamin Woodard | September 4, 2013 8:23am
 Plans for a two-story building include cage-free cat rooms and a veterinary clinic.
Tree House Humane Society
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WEST ROGERS PARK — The Tree House Humane Society, with help from Internet sensation "Grumpy Cat," plans to build a two-story cat adoption center and veterinary clinic on Western Avenue next summer, officials said.

Jenny Schlueter, a spokeswoman for the no-kill shelter based in Uptown, said fundraising efforts would begin soon to build the $6 million, 12,000-square-foot building on vacant lots at 7225 N. Western Ave.

And Grumpy Cat — made famous online after a photo of her permanently unpleased kitty expression was posted to Reddit in 2012 — will star in a video calling for donations, said Schlueter, who attended last week's Internet Cat Video Festival 2013 in Minneapolis with Grumpy Cat and her owners.

She said other Internet cat stars, like Keyboard Cat and Henri Le Chat Noir, would also do "videos of support" for the project when the public fundraising effort is launched.

The new building, when completed, will house up to 250 cats in cage-free rooms and in a "low-cost" veterinary clinic.

"We hit that point that we really really need this building," Schlueter said.

In August, the shelter broke its monthly adoption record after finding 91 cats new homes in the Chicago area, she said.

With the extra space, the shelter plans to host classes open to the public about the humane treatment of pets.

The shelter plans to sell the single-family home at 1212 W. Carmen Ave. that has served as its headquarters since the '70s — 35,000 cats have passed over its doorstep, Schlueter said. The shelter's Bucktown spay and neuter clinic will remain open.