"He just had a love for animals, he couldn't see any go unattended or be out in the cold," said Ray Prater, friend of Dr. Mac Atkins.

Dr. Atkins was a veterinarian in Chattanooga for 55 years and he and his close friend Jean Burns were known for caring for animals.

"They both loved the animals dearly, that's the best things I could say about both of them is they truly loved the animals," said Prater.

Between the two of them, they had 19 cats and four dogs. But after their recent passing, those animals now need someone to take them home.

Some of the pets have been fostered out, but 17 of the cats still need a place to go. Twelve of them have until Friday.

Local no-kill shelter, the Pet Placement Center would take them, but already has 84 cats in their care and doesn't have room for many more, unless some are adopted out or more foster families come forward.

"We just can't go there and choose five, we just couldn't do that and turn our backs on the other 12," said Frances Geier, Volunteer at the Pet Placement Center.

They're asking the community to save these cats before they're sent somewhere that could cut their nine lives short.

"I want these animals to go to a very, very nice home. They're all sweet and wonderful," said Prater.

If these cats are not adopted, five of them will be cared for by Mr. Atkins' family. The other dozen will be taken to area shelters.

The Pet Placement Center is looking for families to foster and adopt these animals.

They are also in need of donations to pay for food and liter.