Work Samples

Glenview resident among volunteers supporting local animal shelter during kitten season

The holiday season is oftentimes viewed as a time when families love to bring home pets through adoptions. Finding the perfect four-legged friend can be a difficult process, leaving some to wonder whether they should part ways with their new companion. But, now that winter is over and spring has sprung, Heartland Animal Shelter of Northbrook notices another trend to watch: kitten season.

Despite misconceptions people may hold about the holiday season serving as a time when people feel more inclined to adopt a pet, this is not the case at Heartland Animal Shelter.

At maximum capacity, the shelter will hold as many as 35 dogs and 75 cats.

As a no-kill facility, animals will flow in and out of Heartland Animal Shelter when adoptions are finalized.

In December 2015, the shelter helped in securing 62 adoptions.

By January, the number of adoptions rose to 69 in total.

Between March 1 and April 24, those on staff at the shelter reported 58 adoptions having occurred at the start of spring.

Janice Greenberg, a public relations volunteer, said those on staff at the shelter are committed to finding homes that will make the best fit for the animals.

“We’re very, very cautious when people come in to say they’re looking to adopt not only for a holiday, but you know it’s my kid’s 12th birthday and they want a dog or they want a cat,” she said.

Greenberg said time of year is not a big indicator in terms of determining when people choose to adopt a pet through Heartland Animal Shelter, but the numbers show that spring is kitten season.

“We sometimes have higher numbers in spring and summer because spring and summer are kitten season, so we adopt out a lot of kittens and cats during that very short period of time,” she said. “Also, we may get a litter of 10 puppies in in May that go really fast. Our numbers tend to fluctuate, definitely with cats around kitten season and with dogs and puppies, it depends on the litters and especially with the puppies when we get them.”

Greenberg said spring and summer tend to be busy for those working at the shelter, in part, because of kitten season and the number of puppy and cat litters received.

Thanks to the help of the many volunteers, Heartland Animal Shelter is able to cater to the varied needs of the animals they serve.

Tom Bohn, of Glenview, is one of many volunteers for the shelter. He said he enjoys being able to help out in any way he can.

“I am here every week between 50 and 60 hours,” he said. “You name it, I do it.”

From providing training for the dogs to handling maintenance issues on site, Bohn said he is often found helping to keep the shelter running.

Like any job, serving as a volunteer brings to light a number of tasks and responsibilities, some of which will be enjoyed more so than others. Bohn said cleaning litter boxes is not one of his favorites.

“I’m pretty much a dog guy,” he said laughing.

Bohn said at times, people remember how helpful he’d been in helping others to find their perfect four-legged match.

He said he recalls a time where his wife was shopping when she came across a woman with a service dog.

The woman found her perfect match through the shelter in Northbrook. When Bohn’s wife asked her if she knew her husband Tom, Bohn said the woman was able to recall who she was referring to.

He said he’s always been the type to put his heart into everything he does, whether it’s working full time or entering retirement to explore his interest in volunteering.

Greenberg said the shelter has always been pleased with the show of support they see from the community.

“It just really helps us to support the medical needs and other needs of the dogs and cats, you know feeding them, just everything that goes along with running a shelter,” she said.

Animals that flow into the shelter may receive medical attention to address whether they’ve been spayed, neutered or micro-chipped, among an assortment of other tests and procedures.

“We are really are trying to match the right pets with the right people,” Greenberg said.