Shelter workers: 109 cats rescued from Newport home in hoarding case


NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) – An East Tennessee animal shelter is crying out for help after taking in more than 100 cats in a hoarding case.

Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County recently shared a number of pictures on Facebook of the cats they took from a home. Rescuers say the mobile home was full of fleas, flies and maggots.

Shelter Director, Elisha Henry, says on Friday they took in 13 of the most medically needy cats. On Monday, with help from the Hamblen County Humane Society, the rest of the cats were removed from the Newport home.

RELATED: How you can help Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County

“You couldn’t breathe in there. A lot of them didn’t have water, a lot of them didn’t have food and their litter boxes were so full it had maggots in them,” Henry said.

The shelter learned of this hoarding case last week when they received a call from someone concerned about the cats’ health.

“What happened was this county and people from other areas took advantage of her. They took a woman, who couldn’t say no, and they would just dump cats on her and she felt like she was dong a good thing by taking care of these animals,” Henry said.

Since the owner is not being charged, we are not sharing her name or the exact location of this hoarding case.

“I know this woman’s back story. She tried. I mean it’s clear and obvious she was trying but she’s 63 and the overwhelming amount of work and not enough people to help her and I have no desire to charge her. I think the ones who should be charged with this are the ones who knew about it and did nothing,” Henry said.

The owner surrendered all of her crates, which will be cleaned, and the animals will receive medical care.

“She trusted me and I plan to stand by that and make sure every single cat we got from her gets a good home,” Henry said.

Henry says going forward she, along with an animal control officer, will be going to the owner’s home once a week making sure she has not recollected more animals.

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