There is no shortage of abandoned and feral cats in the Okanagan, though one situation out of Penticton is even more disturbing.
A man heard the cries of a cat on Nov. 25 and upon further investigation realized the sound was coming from a heavily duct taped box dropped inside a dumpster.
Had he not retrieved the box and taken it home, it’s likely those cats would have succumbed to the cold or been crushed when the garbage was collected.
The man’s family then contacted the Okanagan Humane Society for help.
“The way that it was taped shut, they were ensuring these cats were not going to escape from this box,” said Romany Runnalls, volunteer president with the Okanagan Humane Society. “It was disgusting.”
Inside the box were 10 cats, seven of them just weeks old and still nursing.
“They were in good shape,” Runnalls said. “We sent one of our wonderful volunteers very quickly, got on the road from Kelowna, actually to go down and retrieved all of the kittens and the mom. He took a bunch of carriers with him and met with the woman who had reported this to us and brought them immediately to our vet clinic here in Kelowna to be checked out. Thankfully everybody was still in good form.”
The momma cat and her babies are currently being fostered in Lake Country.
The other two cats have already found their fur-ever homes.
“A really big thanks to the woman who had the courage, and her family, to retrieve these animals and to look for help and to reach out to the Okanagan Humane Society. You literally saved their lives,” Runnalls said.
“At this time of year when we see a lot of tragedy, I think it gives us a lot of hopefulness and warm feelings about all the help that there is out there in our beautiful communities - thank you to our volunteers for hopping to it, to Ron who jumped in his car and went down there and was so proud to be able to bring these animals back safely to make sure that they got the care that they needed, and, of course, to our amazing foster network and our veterinarians who we can’t do this without.”
The circumstances that lead to this cruel act are unknown, but Runnalls noted that’s exactly why places like humane societies exist.
She said people should reach out to them or other animal rescues if they need support.