KINGSPORT, Tenn. - One local man is putting his love for animals into action by opening a no-kill shelter. Many shelters in our region struggle with the amount of pets coming in and sometimes have to resort to euthanasia.
Animal lover, Shae Stewart, quit his job and is now diving in to help give dogs and cats a forever home. This month he opened the ‘Tri-Cities No-Kill Shelter’ in Kingsport, he got the idea after volunteering at another local shelter.
"With volunteering with the shelter it just broke my heart, I wanted to take every animal there home and of course that wasn't feasible,” said Stewart. “I was like what's the next best idea or opportunity.”
Right now Stewart is operating the shelter out of his home, but they're looking at locations and as soon as they can raise the money they'll be moving to a bigger facility.
"Somewhere that animals could go and find homes and be loved for and cared for,” said Stewart.
Amanda Robinson recently dropped off a stray cat and its kittens that she found. She said it was difficult to find a place to take them with so many shelters already overcrowded.
"I called one animal shelter and they told me that if I took them to the pound that they would be killed, the mother and the babies,” said Robinson.
Robinson said everyday she sees stray animals in our area, and having more places like this gives these animals a second chance.
"I hope she gets a good home, she's a good cat,” said Robinson. “She's friendly, she likes to be petted and loved on.”
There is only shelter like this in our area, it's located in Blountville.
For now, Stewart is self-funding his shelter, but is hoping other animal lovers will rally behind him.
"Hopefully with community contributions and people who love animals we can expand and hopefully take all of them in the community that don't have homes,” said Stewart.
The Tri-Cities no kill shelter is holding a fundraising event at Warrior’s Path State Park at the Pavillion on Tuesday starting at 2 p.m, people attending are encouraged to bring along donations of pet food, cat litter and other items for their animals.
For more information on how you can help the shelter with fundraising, or if you would like to adopt or foster any animals, contact the shelter at 423-946-0360.