WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — An animal rescue in Lebanon says they are seeing an alarming number of kittens thrown out of cars. 

True Rescue says they have seen at least 12 incidents of cats being thrown from cars in recent months.

“Actually, tossing them like garbage out of a car. It’s awful,” said Amy Simcik, Executive Director of True Rescue.

The latest is little “Hercules.” Simcik said a witness brought him to the rescue saying he was thrown out of a fast-moving car in Wilson County. 

“It was more than just a simple broken leg; this was major trauma that had occurred, and the idea of his spinal cord being damaged and injured just tells you that this was not a kitten that got dropped or accidentally got stepped on or something like that. This guy really took a hit in order to have that much injury from it,” explained Scott Gables of VetMed Animal Health.

He said Hercules has made significant progress in the last 24 hours, starting to walk again. Unfortunately, he is one of many kittens brought to the rescue with a similar story.

“We would always notice these kittens would have road rash on the face. It was always a back leg injury, so they tend to hit the ground in a certain way that’s indicative of how they were tossed. One was a whole bag. It was a Hefty bag and those were on the side of the road and somebody actually saw one of the kitties crawling out of the bag and we took the 4 of those in,” said Simcik.

The vet says it’s heartbreaking. 

“There are people out there that want these animals and can take care of them, there’s just no need to treat them like they are disposable,” stated Gables.

Although Hercules has been through what the rescue described as a dark and direct act of violence, they are all working together to assure that the best of his nine lives lie ahead.

“I have high expectations for him, I do,” said Gables with hope.

Vet bills for an animal like Hercules can mount up to around $3,000 they said. If you want to help or volunteer, foster or adopt, check out the TrueRescue website.

We checked with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office who said cases like this aren’t unheard of, but they don’t have any current police reports. The rescue says it’s important to try and get as many details as possible if you see someone being cruel to an animal and report it.