NKY woman aims to help neglected, abused animals 'directly from the streets'

Morris, the mascot for the TriState Noah Project, right after he was rescued. (Provided)
Morris, the mascot for the TriState Noah Project, right after he was rescued. (Provided)

COVINGTON, KENTUCKY (FOX19) - An animal sanctuary for abused, neglected and abandoned animals is set to open in Northern Kentucky later this year.

Laura Bamberger, the founder of the "TriState Noah Project," a local non-profit organization, is planning to open the sanctuary because she believes it is desperately needed.

Bamberger said she currently does all she can to help animals that are on the streets. For four hours every single day, she drives the streets of Covington with 40 pounds of dry food and 80 cans of wet food in her car.

Bamberger makes 17 stops each morning and 22 stops each night to feed and rescue stray, feral and deserted animals. Bamberger said that many times she enters dangerous areas and finds horrific situations, like pets that were poisoned and animals that were beaten with baseball bats or taped inside boxes.

"I've had cats with their tails cut off, with their throats slit, darts in them," Bamberger said. "Probably every other week, we get calls about cats in a dumpster."

One of the worst cases Bamberger said that she has encountered is a cat named Morris. 

"He was beaten so badly that his skull was crushed, his jaw was broken, and his eye had to be removed," Bamberger said.

Amazingly, Morris survived his injuries and is now one of Bamberger's pets. He is also the mascot for the TriState Noah Project.

However, Bamberger said that many of the animals are not that lucky, which is why she plans to open a 20-acre, free roam, no kill sanctuary later this year. Bamberger said that she and her team already take in any animal, so the sanctuary would serve every kind of animal from cats and dogs to wildlife and farm animals.

"It'll be the first of its kind," Bamberger said. "We save so many lives now. We can save so many more once we have this."

Bamberger said that there will be a big focus on humane education at the sanctuary, especially for children.

She also plans to launch an organic farm and a variety of programs at the facility. One of those would help connect the sanctuary with animals that have nowhere to go after their owners have passed away.

Bamberger is working now to raise money for the sanctuary through fundraisers and a GoFundMe page.

"We are an all volunteer 501c3 animal rescue. Our organization currently cares for over 220 animals daily including 160+ strays we feed daily on some of the worst streets in the city. We work with animals in the worst abuse and neglect cases directly from the streets," the GoFundMe says.

Her first official fundraiser is Thursday, June 29 at the Inspirado at Madison Gallery. It's located at 715 Madison Avenue in Covington. Bamberger said from 5 to 8 p.m., there will be a special happy hour where a portion of the sales will be donated to the TriState Noah Project.

Bamberger also said that a foundation has agreed to match up to $20,000 in donations to help get the sanctuary started. She hopes to get it going by the end of the summer.

Until that happens, she said she plans to continue her routes on the streets - fighting for animals who sometimes can't fight for themselves.

"It's upsetting. It hasn't gotten easier the years I've done it, but I keep doing it because they're still out there," Bamberger said. "You just have to keep going for the ones who still have a chance."

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