The “Great Cat Migration” got underway in late November as faculty and student volunteers at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) helped get more than two dozen cats ready for their “furever” homes.
LMU, a Sullivan Foundation partner school, recruited veterinarians, veterinary technicians and undergraduate students from the LMU Veterinary Health Science and Veterinary Medical Technology programs to help with the project. They dedicated a recent Friday to care for 28 shelter cats headed for adoption just in time for the holidays.
The volunteers provided surgeries and/or physical exams and health care for the cats, getting them ready to be transported up north with the help of the LMU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Club.
The effort was part of a collaboration with the Remote Area Medical (RAM) veterinary program, which facilitated the air transport of the cats from Tennessee to Schenectady, New York, over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Transporting shelter animals from southern states to facilities in the northern U.S. has become a common practice. Whereas the South has an ongoing problem with stray cat and dog overpopulation—which all too often leads to euthanization in overcrowded shelters— animal lovers in the North have a harder time finding pets to adopt.
This is the second year LMU has assisted with what students call “the Great Cat Migration” to Kitten Angels, a non-profit organization in Schenectady dedicated to the rescue of kittens and cats. “It is always a pleasure to volunteer our time so that we can spay/neuter these cats so we can get them to [rescue facilities] and, ultimately, make sure that they find their forever homes,” said Dr. Jay F. Miles, assistant professor of LMU’s undergraduate veterinary programs.
Headquartered in Rockford, Tenn., RAM is a major nonprofit organization that operates pop-up clinics delivering free quality dental, vision, medical and veterinary services to underserved and uninsured individuals who do not have access to or cannot afford care. RAM has a robust veterinary program, which aims to lower the health risks and lessen the financial and psychological burden to families caused by the sickness of an animal. By partnering with local and national organizations, RAM treats both domesticated pets in the U.S. and working animals around the globe. To date, RAM has provided vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery and microchipping to more than 68,500 animals.
This article has been edited from the original version appearing on the Lincoln Memorial University website.