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LMU students find 62 cats a home for the holidays

Special to the Daily News

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Students and faculty from Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) Shelter Medicine Club and LMU’s Veterinary Medical Technology spent a Saturday volunteering their time to help spay and give necessary vaccines to 62 cats. These cats along with 20 additional cats were transported to Kitten Angels, a rescue facility in Albany, New York over Thanksgiving Break to be matched to their forever homes.

The project that students are calling “The Great Cat Migration” was a collaborative effort that involved students from both undergraduate and professional programs. Faculty veterinarians including Elizabeth Thompson, DVM, dean of the LMU School of Allied Health Sciences, Jay Miles, DVM, Veterinary Health Science and Technology veterinarian and Dawn Spangler, DVM, associate professor of shelter medicine at LMU-CVM performed the procedures that day. Students in the LMU-CVM Shelter Medicine Club and the Veterinary Medical Technology program assisted throughout the day and spent time cuddling the cats as they awakened from anesthesia.

“This was a great opportunity for students to shadow surgeries and learn while being able to do something positive for our community,” said Thompson.

Molly Addison a second-year veterinary medicine student at LMU-CVM was one of the students that helped coordinate efforts through the shelter medicine club and worked with several organizations to get items donated for the project. Boehringer Ingelheim donated several vaccines, including rabies and RCPs and IDEXX donated feline combo SNAP tests.

“We were very fortunate to have these donations to keep costs low for us,” said Addison.

Addison explained the significance of partnering with Kitten Angels. “It just made sense,” she said. “Here in the Cumberland Gap area we have an overabundance of stray cats, whereas in New York at Kitten Angels they had a waiting list of families looking to adopt a cat. It was a perfect match.”

The connection to Kitten Angels Rescue was made after Hurricane Irma, when students from the Veterinary Health Science and Technology department stepped up to help care for cats that had been displaced due to the hurricane. The LMU-CVM Shelter Medicine Club got involved and contacted Kitten Angels when trying to find foster homes for the animals.

Twenty-one of the cats transported to Kitten Angels were immediately adopted upon arrival, and they hope to help the rest of the cats find their forever home for the holidays.

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine is located on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. LMU-CVM is an integral part of the University’s medical programs and provides real-world, community-based education in a collaborative learning environment. For more information about LMU-CVM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7150 or visit us online at vetmed.LMUnet.edu.