The Alberta SPCA is investigating after 15 cats were found abandoned inside rubber containers, starving and covered in feces and urine.
A passerby in the community of Alix in central Alberta on Thursday noticed what they what they thought was garbage in the ditch, said Deanna Thompson, executive director for the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.
They discovered nine kittens and six adult cats trapped in the containers, which had holes in them with the lids taped shut, and took them to a nearby animal shelter.
“It’s very heartbreaking,” said Thompson. “We hear of people abandoning cats on acreages, but to leave them in a ditch in a container they couldn’t get out of just – beyond belief.”
Thompson said a caller informed her organization that the containers were noticed alongside the road as early as Monday.
“These cats could have been there upward of four days. We are very lucky the weather was as mild as it was. Had we had very cold temperatures, they probably would have perished.”
The cats recovering at the society in Calgary, being treated for respiratory infections, crusty eyes, sneezing and malnourishment.
Instead of abandoning cats, Thompson said, people should contact an animal shelter, which will take them in emergencies even if they are full.