With temperatures dropping, veterinarians are warning pet owners to keep their animals inside, but instead of heeding that warning, someone abandoned kittens and cats outside of an animal hospital in Mason.
Staff members at County Animal Hospital said they discovered the cats at the back door of their building on Wednesday. They typically do not check that area, but happened to have a patient that required them to go outside.
"When I entered the hospital, everybody said 'ok we have a surprise for you,'" Dr. Fidan Kaptan, DVM at County Animal Hospital said.
There were seven cats, including five kittens and two adults, that had been left to fend for themselves.
"We're a little bit shocked. We don't know the story," Dr. Kaptan said. "We have no idea what happened."
Had they not found the animals when they did, medical staff members are not sure they all would have survived.
"A kitten can't really fend for itself, not only against the elements, but also against predators," Meghan Dameron, Foster Coordinator with HART Animal Rescue, said.
Not knowing what they were dealing with, the medical team got to work by doing tests and giving examinations.
It turns out that all of the cats appear fairly healthy. Each one is being treated for fleas and parasites, and one does have a skin infection.
Next, the cats will be spayed and neutered, and then HART animal rescuers will put them up for adoption.
While they work to get the kittens ready for new families, they are using what happened as a teaching moment.
"There are so many resources for you to go to get help," Erica Marsh, a senior foster with HART, said.
If you can't care for your cats, HART rescuers encourage you to look to local organizations for assistance.
They believe that if you want your animals to stay alive this winter, the best thing you can do is keep them inside.
Those who want to help feral and stray cats stay safe can do so by giving the animals food and by providing them with shelters, according to HART.
It is also always a good idea, rescuers said, to have your animals spayed and neutered.
If you are interested in adopting any of the cats or kittens, or if you would like to make a donation or foster an animal, visit HART's website for more information. You can also contact them for more information on how to protect animals in winter weather.
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