NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) – Friday was a busy day at an East Tennessee animal shelter as workers said their prayers were being answered.
The focus was on getting the cats healthy before going to their forever homes. Students from UT Veterinary Medical Center spayed and neutered cats at no cost to the shelter.
Days ago, Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County was crying out for help after taking in more than 100 cats in a hoarding case.
Over the last week, the shelter tells us a number of cats have been taken to be fostered, transported to other rescue organizations or they’ve been adopted.
“It’s been a complete blessing and now by the grace of God we have UT Veterinary School with their Shelter Medicine Program here,” said Elisha Henry, Director of Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County.
Henry says over the weekend she reached out to every resource.
“For this case we decided to switch around our schedule and bring the mobile unit out here to try and help them,” said Dr. Jennifer Weisent, with UTVMC.
On Friday, inside the mobile surgery suite, parked outside the shelter, technicians prepared the cats. From there, Dr. Weisent and another student hoped to spay and neuter 40-cats.
“This is my heart. This is the heart of our program. It’s the heart of our technician, our students. Our aim is always to improve animal welfare in East Tennessee and there’s a lot to do here. We just take it step by step and get them one at a time,” added Dr. Weisent.
Learning that these surgeries were at no cost to the shelter, Henry said it was a blessing, “With this village of support we’ve received here, we couldn’t be more thankful and my heart is so full.”
Over the coming weeks the shelter hopes to find all of these cats their forever home. Henry says the cats that were spayed or neutered will be up for adoption as early as Saturday.
Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County is located at 420 Humane Way in Newport. They’re open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. everyday, closed on Sundays.