Pets find new homes in Vernon Hills
Orphans of the Storm volunteer Emily Mirochnick holds a dog, Phimo, who recently found a new home at a local pet adoption event. | Photos courtesy Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
Hours: Daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 2200 Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods.
Contact: (847) 601-8508 or www.orphansofthestorm.org
Updated: April 8, 2013 2:03AM
VERNON HILLS — After 17 years of helping homeless pets find new families, Jackie Borchew has learned a trick or two.
Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods, where she works as director of community outreach and development, used to host adoption events at pet stores.
But visitors to those stores already tend to have their hands full with pets at home.
That’s why the group had an art gallery in Lake Forest and malls in both Vernon Hills and Northbrook on its calendar this month for pet adoption events.
“I like to go to places where people don’t expect to see the pets,” Borchew said. “And before you know it, they take out their phone, are taking pictures and texting their husband, wife or kids. Pretty soon the whole family shows up and it’s just meant to be.”
Officials from Orphans of the Storm, which is celebrating its 85th year, is home to more than 500 dogs and cats who are stray, abandoned, abused or neglected. Borchew said adoption outreach events are highly successful because it dispels many people’s notions about shelters.
“A lot of people don’t want to go to the shelter because they think it can be depressing,” she said. “But then they see the pets and that it’s a happy place, and the exposure really helps.”
Last month, the group found homes for 188 dogs and roughly 90 cats after an adoption event in Northbrook. Many of the pets who were adopted – and that will be available for adoption this month – are purebreds or pets that are already housebroken and trained to interact with fellow animals and children.
“So many people in the last few years have been losing their homes and jobs, and they just can’t afford to keep these great pets.”
There is a $90 adoption fee for any cat or dog that is adopted. Some animals may require additional fees if they need state-mandated shots and microchips.
But once these pets go home with new families, Borchew said they typically have wonderful lives. In fact, many families help Orphans of the Storm track a pet’s new life by uploading photos and stories on the group’s Facebook page.
This is a triple-win for the pets, the families and the volunteers, said Borchew.
“Our volunteers get committed and often make it their mission to get a certain animal adopted,” she said. “So when the adoption does happen, it’s like a personal triumph and it’s so exciting to see how the life of the animals unwind.”
The Vernon Hills adoption event was held last weekend at Carson Pirie Scott at Westfield Hawthorn Mall. The group will be at Lord & Taylor in Northbrook Court from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, and at the Re-Invent Gallery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Lake Forest.