East Texas Couple Close To Losing "Cat Sanctuary" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/5/06-Wood County

East Texas Couple Close To Losing "Cat Sanctuary"

They have not paid their mortgage in a year to feed their 160 animals and Tuesday, they're hoping a miracle will buy them more time. The Wood County couple faces foreclosure on their land tomorrow. They've devoted their finances to taking care of the hundreds animals they say they've rescued over the past four years. The couple has turned their Lake Hawkins home into what they say is the only "cat sanctuary" in East Texas.   They call it the Cat Pad.

"Tomorrow, which is 666, my birthday, they're gonna take my land. They're gonna take my home and I am strong enough as a woman to be homeless. I don't want to be homeless. I can't even imagine it, but to be homeless with 150 animals, we have nowhere to go," said Terri Rhys, who turns 43 tomorrow.

She and her husband Charles Rhys take care of 137 cats, 10 dogs and a ferret and every single one has a name. The couple says they have not paid their land or mobile home mortgage in a year because of how much they've spent on their animals. "We spent $10,000 last year on cat food, $7,000 on dog food, $4,600 on cat litter and that's as much as some people make in a year. So, that doesn't leave any groceries, mortgage, car payments anything, so we have just gone downhill," said Terri.

Charles says he's a registered nurse. He says he was fired from his job in January because he missed work to take care of his wife, who has cancer. He says right now, their main priority is finding their beloved pets a place to stay. "I would give anything if we could have some help finding homes for these animals, if somebody could help us rescue some of them, if we had a vet that would help with the help with spaying and neutering and the inoculations to get rid of all the problems we've had to deal with," said Charles.

The Rhys' say they know God will see them through this difficult time. "This situation looks impossible to us. We know to god it's not," said Charles. Despite what tomorrow brings, they're hoping with God's help, they'll be able to keep on helping animals.

The couple says they have called different animal agencies throughout the area, such as the Humane Society and the SPCA, but they have been unable to help. If you'd like to help the couple, you can call the Rhys at 769-4613.

Oralia Ortega reporting, ortega@kltv.com

            

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