True Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue group, celebrated its official grand opening last Saturday afternoon in Mt. Juliet.

Showing their mission “Safe hands for animals” from the start, the organization’s leadership tackled an emergency case that arose just as the event began when newborn kittens were in desperate need of bottle feeding.

However, their team pulled together, and the two-hour celebratory fundraiser event introduced its new location to the community. Located at 12110 Lebanon Rd. (the former Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary), there was live entertainment and the opening of a large retail store. And, of course, lots and lots of cats (their largest focus at this time) ready to snuggle and show off playful antics for visitors.

“We now have room to help more, and we could not be more appreciative to these amazing families who have stepped forward to give these animals a real home and the happy-ever-after they deserve,” said Executive Director Amy Simcick. “Our mission has been to see our rescues’ story through from the minute they come through our doors, to the minute they leave with their new forever family. ”

This rescue operation opened last August at this location after it was established in May 2020 in Lebanon. It has rescued more than 800 animals and currently has dozens of kittens up for adoption or fostering.

The organization is a cage-free, no-kill rescue and pet adoption center. The animals can adjust and relax in a home-like environment. Neonatal rescues and medical emergencies are a specialty of True Rescue.

While preparing for the grand opening, heavy rains in mid-September flooded the facility’s atrium and main room. Cats scrambled to higher spaces and volunteers quickly scooped out water and put out sandbags. True Rescue responded to an emergency of a cat and her newborn kittens stuck in a window well and safely brought them back to the facility.

Their retail space fronts the interior and boasts more than 100 pet related items for sale. All proceeds go to the operation of the facility.

Simcick said September was a huge month for the organization. It took in 70 rescues from New Orleans and Folsom, La., in preparation for Hurricane Ida and also provided a home to 17 cats and kittens from the Waverly floods that month.

True Rescue officials said they care for 169 animals (taking in about 10-15 each week) and average 20 adoptions every week. For information go to truerescue.org.

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