TreeHouse Wildlife Center

TreeHouse Wildlife Center

23956 Green Acres Road
Dow, Illinois 62022

In 1972, co-founders Adele T. Moore & Richard H. Evans found an injured cottontail rabbit in the middle of Milton Hill Road in Alton. Not knowing where to take a wild animal for care, Adele & Richard took the rabbit to local Veterinarian, Dr. Reed. Dr. Reed had no training in wildlife medicine, but splinted the rabbit’s leg and gave it stitches. Adele & Richard took the rabbit home where they discovered it had gone blind from a head injury.

Despite their lack of experience rehabbing wildlife, the rabbit regained its sight and healed, being released back into the wild after weeks of care. Watching the rabbit recover and scamper back into the wild, Adele’s mind was set- she and Richard decided it was their calling to help.

Wildlife courses weren’t offered at the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine in the 70’s. Richard talked to the school and asked permission to convert an unused dog ward into a wildlife ward which became the college’s first.

In 1977, following his graduation, Richard & Adele moved to Brighton along with their patients which included a rough-legged hawk and several orphaned raccoons and squirrels.
The Brighton center started with just two bird enclosures and one for mammals. The name ‘TreeHouse’ came from the first nest box used for orphan raccoons at the center- formerly Adele’s nephew’s tree house. In 1980, TreeHouse incorporated as an official non-profit organization and the first permanent resident arrived, a Great Horned Owl named Moose.

From 1981 – 2009, a 2,400 square foot hospital building was completed along with 36 outdoor cage complexes for patients and permanent residents. In 1983, TreeHouse took in the first of many veterinary and biology student interns and in 1986 the center started to accept volunteers. With their grassroots organization growing, plans were put into place to find a new site.

A location was found in Dow that fit the TreeHouse’s needs and a private grant allowed the center to move in June 2010. The new center has retrofitted facilities used for rehabilitation, new enclosures for the animal residents, and grows by the year. Today the TreeHouse Wildlife Center still takes in injured, sick, and orphaned animals, promotes environmental education, and can be visited daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.



  • Restrooms


Related Events

Related Blogs