New Leash on Life in Lebanon is among several animal shelter agencies around the country that took in some of the 68 cats rescued from a hoarding situation in Tullahoma in March.
Animal Rescue Corps, a nonprofit animal protection organization based in Washington D.C., rescued the cats March 14. The rescued cats, as well as several dogs taken from unrelated situations, were recently taken to other agencies so they can be adopted.
Angela Chapman, executive director of New Leash on Life, said the local organization was happy to take in a few cats, because the shelter had the extra room.
“We always think Wilson County first — we want to help any animals that need to be rescued here in Wilson County before taking in other animals,” Chapman said.
“But we didn’t have a waiting list, and so we decided to take some in. It is nice to have the space and resources to help.”
The animals were initially kept at the Animal Rescue Corps Rescue Operation Center in Lebanon. New Leash on Life’s mobile spay unit was made available to be used by Animal Rescue Corps during the operation, though it was ultimately not needed.
“Without progressive partners like these who understand the power of groups networking together, we couldn’t do what we do,” said Animal Rescue Corps president Scotlund Haisley. “These partners are as critical to these operations as the boots on the ground getting the animals out of harms way.”
The rescue began when Animal Rescue Corps received a request for assistance from the Tullahoma Department of Animal Control.
The cats, some of which were newborn litters and pregnant females, were found running looses inside a home in a residential neighborhood within the city limits.
According to the property owner, she took in a few homeless cats four years ago. The unaltered cats multiplied into more than 60.
All of the cats exhibited signs of upper respiratory infections from the unclean conditions and excessively high ammonia. Some of the cats were suffering from other medical conditions like eye infections, bladder infections and external and internal parasites.
The network of placement partners working with Animal Rescue Corps, including New Leash on Life, continue the physical and emotional rehabilitation of the animals, ultimately matching them with families looking to adopt.
The list of cat placement partners includes facilities in Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.
Animal Rescue Corps officials provided medical and daily care for the rescued cats prior to taking them to the new facilities across the country.
“It’s good for these animals to be in a better situation,” Chapman said.