COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. — The Friends Animal Shelter in Cocke County is asking for help after discovering more than 100 cats and kittens in a hoarding situation.
Shelter Director Elisha Henry said she, two deputies and the county's animal control officer visited a single-wide trailer Friday morning after a report of hoarding.
"I can honestly say, it is by far worse than anything I could have ever anticipated," Henry said in a message to 10News Friday.
The cats are in desperate need of rescue, Henry said. She also said there are three smaller dogs who need homes.
Cages were stacked from end to end of the trailer and she said the ammonia smell has made her and everyone who responded "physically sick."
"I can't imagine the condition of the cat's lungs. The litter boxes are so full and old that there are maggots crawling around in them," she said.
Henry also said the cats were covered in fleas and there were flies everywhere.
"Most cats had no water and she was sporadically throwing food while we were there. I need help, we need help, these cats need immediate help," Henry said.
She said the shelter currently has 102 cats or kittens and it's taking in 13 of the cats they pulled from the home Friday. She said the other 80 or so cats are still at the home until they can make space for them at the shelter.
Officials said they will be back Monday to get the rest of them.
"The woman has agreed to relinquish all but 8 of the cats including cages to us. We have nowhere to put them," she said.
The shelter asks you contact them through its Facebook page if you can help or call (423) 532-8475.