20+ cats hoarded at home in Giles County

GILES COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A couple dozen cats were rescued from a home in Giles County Thursday after a local nonprofit said the cats were being hoarded. 

News 2 spoke with the homeowner, Brenda Rochelle, who said the cats had nowhere else to go. 

“Several people have said, ‘If you wouldn’t feed them, you wouldn’t get more and more cats over there,’ and I understand that, but I can’t let them starve, either,” Rochelle said.

When she moved into her Giles County home two years ago, she said seven cats showed up on her doorstep. Over time, other people would drop off their unwanted cats until she ended up with more than two dozen felines on her property.

But she had to say goodbye to them, as she is moving out of state Thursday night, giving the nonprofit organization Lucky’s Cat House less than 24 hours to come work to collect all the felines.

Lucky’s Cat House said hoarding situations like Rochelle’s have become a problem in Giles County, because there are no cat shelters in surrounding counties.

“Lincoln County’s shelter just recently closed. There are four counties back-to-back that have no shelter options, no animal control options [and] no resources for felines,” Jaclyn Payne, Director of Lucky’s Cat House said.

Payne said Lucky’s is currently fostering 172 cats. She said once the cats they rescued Thursday are healthy and spayed or neutered, they need people to adopt.

She would like to see stricter spay/neuter laws in the state, as the situation has not changed in the time she has been in Tennessee.

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“I’ve been in Tennessee for 24 years now, and nothing has ever changed with felines,” she said. “Hopefully we can get something done, because it is needed really bad.”

Brenda said she’ll miss her furry friends, even though she is allergic to cats. She said feeding them was solely out of the goodness of her heart.

“No one can not love a kitten,” she said.

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