JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) In the summer months known as “kitten season” to our local animal rescuers, the population of unwanted cats grows every day.
For those animals who have no way to help themselves, people throughout the Tri-Cities step up to save them.
Neonatal Kitten Rescue in Johnson City is doing just that.
“We have so many cats and kittens and not enough homes for them here,” says Heather Whittle, director of NKR.
Rescue work takes a village of volunteers, donors, fosters and social media warriors.
This NKR village is working to do what our local animal shelters simply cannot.
“We probably get 30 messages, emails, calls, a day to take in kittens,” says Whittle.
The shelters are already overrun with animals and cannot take in the neonatal kittens that require round-the-clock care and expensive treatment. Most kittens taken in by NKR are seriously sick or injured.
“There are so many kittens that need help right now that we have almost stopped taking the healthy ones. Somebody else can handle the healthy ones, where these really need our help,” says Whittle.
This is how local rescues fill the gap for the unwanted animals in our region.
“Without us they wouldn’t be alive. They wouldn’t be alive,” says Whittle.
NKR has already taken in close to 300 kittens so far this year. The Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter has taken in more than one thousand.
“We can take kittens all day but tomorrow there is gonna be just as many. It’s just a cycle that continues,” says Whittle.
Their non-stop work indicates a larger problem throughout the region. The numbers of cats and kittens will not stop growing. Whittle says something has to change.
“We can’t rescue our way out of this. We need some spay/neuter laws desperately and we need more viable options for low income people that cannot afford spay and neuter.”
There are around 20 kittens currently available for adoption through the rescue. Most adoptions are secured through social media. Check their Facebook page for kittens who need forever homes.
Donations can also be sent to NKR through their Facebook page. They rely solely on donations from the community to operate.
They say if you cannot donate money, donate time. They are in constant need of fosters, volunteers and bottle-feeders.