In 2019, Cook County announced the first-ever opportunity for capital funds to build animal shelter capacity in our County.
After an exhaustive application process, a professional panel recommended the South Suburban Humane Society receive $6,000,000 towards a new animal resource campus. On May 21, 2020, this recommendation was approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners at their monthly meeting. On October 12, 2020, SSHS signed a 99-year ground lease with the Village of Matteson to build a new shelter campus there.
You have the opportunity to join us in this progressive campus as we redefine the ways we serve our community and its pets. You can invest in lifesaving today.
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As SSHS took on more municipal stray hold contracts including the contract for Cook County, we were out of space once again. Thanks to a generous donor who wants to remain anonymous, the Homewood Adoption Center was established in the former Homewood Animal Hospital building in Homewood. With 30 indoor/outdoor kennel runs, adoption suites, and a surgical suite, the HAC is integral to our adoption success.
The number of strays coming into SSHS has increased by 108% from 2016 to 2019.
From 2016 to 2020, SSHS’ municipal contracts multiplied from 2 to 11.
The main shelter location in a hidden neighborhood does not promote adoptions or volunteerism.
Our Small Dog Adoption Room has no drains and no direct access to outside. All dogs have to be walked through a hallway and large room to go outside for morning cleaning. All kennels must be towel dried out. This is a huge staff and resource inefficiency.
We have no dedicated space for humane education or community group visits.
A Community Animal Welfare Campus
For the first time in the South Suburban Humane Society’s history, we have the opportunity to build a modern, intentional campus from the ground up. The pets and people of Chicago’s Southland deserve a beautiful space for adoption, services, and educational opportunities.
Our future plans for the space include a potential dog park, wildlife center, and parking lot trail access to a major walking/biking trail located on the land.
The campus will be 2 ½ times the size of our current facility.
Separate entrances for Adoptions & Intake.
Modern double-sided animal housing designed for lowering stress
Several separate isolation and holding areas to minimize disease and stress
Outdoor “catio” for access to fresh air for our cats!
Natural light exposure in most areas for people and pets
Indoor meet and greet rooms and outdoor meet and greet areas
Proper HVAC to decrease disease and odor
Education and event room with a gorgeous outdoor patio for classes, birthday parties, groups, and events
A partnership with Brewing for Good Coffee to brew and sell their vegan fair-trade coffee in our lobby to welcome guests.
Appropriate administrative and volunteer office space, bathrooms, storage, separated laundry and food preparation by species, etc.
Outdoor walking trails in a gorgeous prairie/wetland setting for the whole community and dog walkers to enjoy.
South Suburban Humane Society Struggles With Overflow After Largest Shelter in County Ends Contract
December 28, 2018
"When a large animal shelter doesn’t re-sign a contract in Cook County, what happens?" asked South Suburban Humane Society CEO Emily Klehm.
Smaller shelters like the South Suburban Humane Society are left to pick up the slack.
SSHS awarded $6 million grant for new facility
May 28, 2020
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced a $6 million Housing Cook County’s Animals grant to help pay for a new animal resource campus for the South Suburban Humane Society.
Cook County awards $8 million in animal shelter grants to city of Evanston, south suburban nonprofit
MAY 28, 2020
Two animal shelters in Cook County are getting a combined $8 million to expand their facilities and ensure there is no overcrowding.
Local officials, rescue dogs attend groundbreaking for new South Suburban Humane Society facility
OCTOBER 27, 2020
Construction officially began Tuesday, Oct. 27, on the new South Suburban Humane Society facility.
SSHS and government officials gathered with canine friends Sheila, Freddy and Zoro at the site at 21100 Central Ave. in Matteson for a ceremonial groundbreaking.
Matteson Breaks Ground At South Suburban Humane Society Ceremony
OCTOBER 27, 2020
The village will soon be home to the new 26,000 square-foot South Suburban Humane Society.
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