A total of 15 kittens and young cats were rescued from an area between Stettler and Erskine on Thurs. Nov. 22.
Two large Rubbermaid containers with the felines held captive inside was taped shut with multiple air holes punctured at the top.
The cats were found in an inch of urine and faeces indicating they had been inside for a long period of time.
Deanna Thompson, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) executive director, confirms they will most likely make a full recovery.
The kittens have a respiratory infection and the veterinarians are checking them today, Nov. 23, to see about any other possible medical concerns.
On the other hand, the adult and adolescent cats are in a much better condition aside from some sneezing, something that is common for cats to have when dealing with respiratory issues.
“They were otherwise healthy which they do believe was somebody’s pets at one point,” said Thompson.
A person who was driving along Highway 12 noticed garbage lying on the side of the road including the containers and decided to investigate.
Once the cats were discovered, they called the local animal shelter, the Saving Grace Animal Society in Alix, who helped them.
In turn, they called the AARCS to take the cats in.
“We brought them back to our shelter here and got them cleaned up and settled with food and water and exams to make sure everybody was okay. We did reports for the Alberta SPCA who’s the enforcement agency for that area in regards to the animal protection act,” she said.
The Alberta SPCA has opened a file and is now investigating.
“We are always open to donations for the shelter of canned cat food and litter and that sort of thing. We want to really get out to society that animals and cats especially are not disposable, they are not garbage. You can’t just throw them in the ditch like garbage.”
Unfortunately, Alberta has a problem dealing with the overpopulation of cats.
To combat this, owners are encouraged to have their animals spayed and neutered so shelters are not overrun with unwanted cats.
“Cats, unfortunately, don’t hold the same value as dogs for whatever reason but they are still living breathing creatures that feel pain and suffering and they don’t deserve this so it’s really unfortunate. I’m really happy that the weather was mild because their fate could have been a lot worse had we had freezing temperatures,” said Thompson.
Although the society has heard of many abandonment stories, not many have been able to top this level of cruelty.
“We have never seen anything to this extent of abandonment,” she said.
“It’s very sad but they are doing well though and should make a full recovery. We will wait for the SPCA to investigate. If a previous owner can’t be found or no one comes forward in regards to this they will go up for adoption eventually and we will find them a forever loving home.”