Two cats were discovered trapped in a thick cardboard box at the entrance to a dike in Pitt Meadows on Monday.
Mark Stevens was walking his dog and a neighbour’s dog when he found the box along the North Alouette River dike about 45 metres from the gate on McNeil Road. He gave it a little kick as he walked by just to see if it had weight, and continued on his way. After a 10 minute walk Stevens was passing the taped-up box again on the way back to the car when curiousity got the better of him.
“It looked like a box that would have some manufactured good in it. I was thinking possibly clothing or fabric of some sort,” said Stevens.
“Then I noticed that the top was slit open so I pulled it back and took a look in and there was a cat looking back at me,” he said.
“I thought, oh my goodness, somebody left you out here,” continued Stevens who immediately picked up the box and took it home where he discovered not one, but two cats in the box, with a bowl of food but no water.
“They easily could have been coyote bait,” he added.
Dr. Walton went to the area where the box was found and is clearly mad in a video he posted on Facebook.
“I never thought that for the life of me that my job would mean telling people to stop dumping animals. I thought that was pretty straight forward,” he said adding that he knows that this individual possibly thought they were doing a good thing by leaving them in an area that is frequented by people.
“But this also happens to be coyote central and what you did was, in fact, produce a picnic lunch for the coyotes to enjoy on this nice spring day,” said Walton in an irate voice.
Both cats are in good shape despite their ordeal. There are no external parasites and they are nice and chunky reported Walton, who estimates their age to be between 1-year and 5-years old.
“One has a bit of a weepy eye but I can’t find anything particularly wrong with it. Maybe a mild upper respiratory but that’s it,” he said.
Walton has since reported the cats to the B.C. SPCA’s animal cruelty division because the cats had no way of getting out of the box in a location where coyotes are hunting ducks at this time of the year.
“The coyotes would have them easy enough, there’s enough airflow for them to smell them. They coyotes would have been able to get in and the cats wouldn’t have gotten out,” said Walton.
Walton is appealing to anyone who recognizes the cats to come forward. He also wants to remind anyone who might not be able to look after their pet anymore that there are options available.
“We’re fortunate. This is Maple Ridge. We have the B.C. SPCA Maple Ridge branch. We have a whole host of vet clinics that can help you re-home unwanted pets. So, the last thing that has to happen is to dump animals,” Walton said near the end of the video.
Anyone with information is asked to call the BC SPCA’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-855-622-7722.