On Sunday, July 8, 2012, Harmony House for Cats celebrated the grand opening of their new eco-friendly cat shelter in Chicago! Thanks to our friends over at ModernCat.net we heard about this great event and saw all the amazing photos on their blog here. I think can’t think of anything more important for the happiness of homeless cats and the potential adopters visiting them that to be housed in a beautiful, health-promoting space. Cats are so sensitive to their surroundings. Any cat owners knows the smallest change in their environment is momentous from a cat’s point of view. All you have to do is put out an empty cat-sized cardboard box or paper bag to see how much something simple can excite a cat’s day! So imagine cats that are housed in a typical shelter, in small metal cages that echo with every bang open or close of the doors, or staring at the same blank walls day after day. It is no wonder cats in old-fashioned shelters get so depressed. More and more shelters and rescues with long-term care facilities are realizing just how important environment is, and how wonderful when they can afford to make a beautiful new dramatic change for the cats in their care with an amazing facility like at New Harmony House for Cats!

Their website says: “Designed to be Net-Zero Energy and concurrently pursuing LEED-NC Platinum certification, the new shelter is slated to be the first Net-Zero Energy commercial building in the City of Chicago. The term Net-Zero Energy means that the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources over the course of one year is equal or greater than the amount of energy used by the building. The one-story 7085 square-foot shelter designed by Farr Associates and dbHMS, and built by Goldberg General Contracting, Inc. features three adoption playrooms, three admission rooms, four special needs suites, a medical ward, a treatment room, conference room, and two mechanical rooms that house the equipment that runs and monitors the cutting edge technology in the new shelter. The building’s heating and cooling needs are powered by 14 geo-thermal wells, 20 solar thermal panels, plus a solar photovoltaic system with 96 units. The design is organized around a central landscaped courtyard for day-lighting and access for all shelter users, visually and physically, to nature.”

The Animal Protective Association’s Harmony House for Cats is a cage-free adoption facility dedicated to rescuing and finding homes for injured and abandoned cats. Founded in 1970, Harmony House is Chicago’s second oldest no-kill animal shelter, and also the second humane organization to open a cageless adoption center for cats and kittens in Chicago.