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Foster pets will soon have a new place in Homewood to find permanent owners.

South Suburban Human Society Director Emily Klehm announces at the Homewood Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday that an anonymous donor has purchased the former Homewood Animal Hospital, enabling the humane society to establish and adoption center. (Quincy Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  South Suburban Humane 
  Society director Emily Klehm
  announced at the Homewood
  Board of Trustees meeting
  Tuesday that the agency will
  open a pet adoption center in
 (Quincy Crump/
  H-F Chronicle)

The South Suburban Humane Society is renovating the building which once held the Homewood Animal Hospital at 2207 183rd Street. It will be used for a new adoption center, the society’s CEO Emily Klehm announced at Tuesday’s Homewood village board meeting.

“It’s very big news for us,” Klehm said. “I’ve been here 11 years. This is the biggest news we’ve had in 11 years.” 

The building was purchased by an anonymous donor, Klehm said. The humane society knows the donor’s identity. 

The new facility will be the temporary home for about 40 dogs and 20 cats. There will be an in-house spay and neuter surgical suite.

SSHS first came up with the idea in July, Klehm said, and was working to find donations to buy the property. The building was vacated in 2015. 

Klehm thanked the village for its help, citing Mayor Richard Hofeld’s, specifically. She said about 60 percent of the organization’s volunteers are from Homewood or Flossmoor.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have you here,” Hofeld said.

Another business showed interest in the property in the fall, Klehm said, but backed out.

“We’re going to be able to save between 500 and 800 more pets per year,” Klehm said. 

SSHS has no time limits for pet adoptions and some animals have waited up to two years before finding a family, Klehm said. The organization had 2,891 adoptions in 2018, she said.

The former Homewood Animal Hospital will be the new site of a pet adoption center managed by South Surburban Humane Society. The hospital closed in April 2015. Since then, The building has been vacant. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  South Suburban Humane
will open a pet adoption 
  center at the vacant site of the 
former Homewood Animal
  Hospital, which closed in
  April 2015.
 (Eric Crump/
  H-F Chronicle)

Because the building was an animal hospital, it’s ideal for use as a pet adoption center. The rooms are perfectly-suited and some equipment was even left behind, including 30 indoor/outdoor kennels and 45 steel cages, Klehm noted. 

“It’s just perfect for us to take it over,” she said. “It’s huge.” 

Renovation work will begin this month. The hope is to be open by March 1. SSHS is looking for donations to help fund the renovation.

Veterinarian John Coyne of Coyne Veterinary Center in St. John, Indiana, and his wife, Ruth, pledged $75,000. Coyne once worked at the Homewood Animal Hospital, according to Klehm.

PetSmart Charities donated $40,000 to help pay for the spay and neuter suite. Veterinary surgeon Claude Gendreau contributed $25,000. SSHS is hoping to raise another $100,000.

To donate, visit SSHS online at https://www.southsuburbanhumane.org/homewood-adoption-center. There will be opportunities for donors interested in naming a room or a portion of the building after a pet or loved one. Naming rights will also be available in a brick garden. 

“The village of Homewood has been so supportive of us with this project,” Klehm said.

The adoption center will be open six days a week. It will strictly handle adoptions, Klehm said. SSHS’s main location in Chicago Heights will remain open for all other services.


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