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UT volunteers help spay and neuter dozens of cats in Cocke County after hoarding rescue

Last Monday, crews rescued more than 100 cats and three dogs in a hoarding case in Cocke County.

NEWPORT, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine deployed its Mobile Spay/Neuter clinic to Cocke County to help dozens of cats rescued in a hoarding case last Monday.

UT vets took care of 40 cats Friday, spay/neutering and evaluating them. The Friends Animal Shelter in Cocke County said this will help reduce the number of unwanted animals in the community, and will soon be looking for homes for the rescued cats as well as the rest in the shelter.

"Adoptions! Hopefully! Come and adopt -- we have 140 cats in our population right and they will be completely vetted, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Ready for a new home," director Elisha Henry said.

RELATED: 'She could not say no': Cocke Co. shelter rescues 109 hoarded cats from mobile home

Last Monday, the shelter took in more than 100 cats and three dogs from an elderly woman's home, saying she had adopted many of them over Facebook when she saw posts for free cats.

Henry said people had also discarded cats at her home, expressing empathy for the woman and placing some blame on those who continued piling unwanted animals on the woman.

"The biggest crime of all was the people who turned a blind eye and let her live like that. I talked to her a long time. She is not a monster. You can hate me for saying this, but she has a heart of gold and she just could not say no. I just want people to know she was taken advantage of," said Henry.

Credit: WBIR
A cat rescued from a hoarder recovers at the Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County.

Aside from loving forever homes, the shelter said it still needs cleaning supplies and canned wet food.

Earlier this week, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley delivered some cat food and took in 11 cats and kittens, which were also spayed and neutered.