HES reaches "critical" overcrowding situation with 400 cats - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

HES reaches "critical" overcrowding situation with 400 cats

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A Chattanooga animal shelter is asking for your help with serious overcrowding. The Humane Educational Society said the shelter has reached a "critical" situation with more than 400 cats.

Shelter officials said the facility is overwhelmed with cats. They're trying to find homes for some of them, but more keep coming in. 

"We're just backed up all the way. We have reached a very critical situation," said Bob Citrullo, HES Executive Director.  

The shelter is running out of room, and doing its best to create space where there is none.

"We should be seeing a decrease with the amount of the cats and kittens coming in, but we're not," Citrullo said.

Right now, HES has over 425 cats in its program. The shelter typically considers itself "at capacity" at 275.

Because it's an "open-door" facility, the shelter doesn't turn animals away.

Citrullo said they're in desperate need of a new shelter.

"We've reached the point where it's no longer a sustainable facility, and this is a good case in point," he said.

HES has called its Highland Park facility home since the 1940s. As the site of a former orphanage, the building was never meant to care for animals.

Currently, HES is looking into plans to build a new, multi-million dollar shelter. However, they must first come up with some of the money, before asking county officials for help.

"If we had a real shelter, one that was designed properly to care for animals, we would be able to do a better job," Citrullo said.

To help with the overcrowding, HES is running an adoption special from Thursday to Sunday. From Aug. 11-14, you can name your own price, instead of paying the regular $25 adoption fee.

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