Ouabache Valley Felines rescues endangered cats in Arkansas


TERRE HAUTE, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– Tammy Barnett and Ouabache Valley Felines volunteers traveled to Arkansas Saturday to rescue 13 cats that were going to euthanized due to shelter overcrowding.

She said most shelters would try to accomadate or get the cats placed in new homes, but this particular shelter wasn’t able to do so.

“It was a shelter that only deals with dogs and they went into a hoarding situation. There was 20 plus dogs they pulled out and 13 cats,” Barnett said. “Being a dog shelter, normally if they get a few cats in, they can adopt them out on Facebook. But it’s kind of hard to do 13. So they contact us and see if we would take them. Rather than have them euthanized, we headed to Arkansas and picked up the kitties,” she said.

Barnett owns the no kill rescue that aims to help cats find permanent homes. She’s been running the shelter for 5 years and currently shelters more than 85 cats.

She goes through a rehabilitation process with each cat before they can be adopted.

She said its a process to get them fully rehabilitated.

“Most the times the cats that come in will be in isolation in the intake room for two weeks,” Barnett said. “That gives me time to make sure there’s no health issues, to vet them and get to know them one on one. Then after two weeks, they come out here to the free roam room. So I can see if they play well with others or if they need to be an only child. Then we work on start placing them in homes,” she said.

Barnett said it can take several months to find a cat’s perfect owner.

“We’ve had one cat that we’ve adopted out three times third time was the perfect family. It’s like they have to find their human that they actually bond with. They can be the sweetest cat in the world, but if they haven’t found their human that they bond with, it’s not a match,” she said.

She said she takes pride in helping these animals find true happiness.

“I love that I can help them and to know we’re making a difference. These cats aren’t not living out on the streets, they’re not living in a bad situation, and to see some of them come in really bad and to leave here healthy and happy, that makes it worthwhile,” Barnett said.

In 2019, the Quabache Valley Felines rescued 555 cats.

In addition to their main location, they offer adoption at Rural King, PetSmart, Pet Value and Pet Supplies Plus.

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