A cat and several kittens are recovering after being rescued from a sealed box that had been thrown in a dumpster.

The Okanagan Humane Society (OHS) says a passerby in Penticton investigated after hearing some faint meowing on Nov. 25 and was shocked to find the sounds coming from inside a heavily taped box.

In an interview with Global News, OHS said the box had 11 cats inside: A mother cat, eight kittens that were around three weeks old and two older kittens, possibly from an older litter.

There was so much tape, said the OHS, that there’s no way the cats would have escaped – meaning death was looming, either from being crushed by a garbage truck or weather exposure.

“It was a call you don’t want to get — someone had found a box full of cats that had been duct-taped, securely shut and put in a dumpster,” said Romany Runnalls, OHS volunteer president.

“We have no idea as to how or why those animals were in there. I can only assume and imagine that someone must have been in some kind of distress in order to go to that length to dispose of some animals.”

Runnalls doesn’t know if the person or persons responsible for this couldn’t get the animals into a shelter, or didn’t know about other resources, “but it was a very disturbing call to get it.”

Fortunately, the OHS says it appears the cats and kittens weren’t inside the box for very long and weren’t in distress.

“That was a good thing,” said Runnalls, adding the kittens were brought from Penticton to an animal hospital in Kelowna.

The Okanagan Humane Society is volunteer-run and does not have a building. Rather, it relies on volunteers from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm who will foster animals in need.

The mother cat and her kittens are still in foster care in Lake Country, while the other two cats have found new homes.

Runnalls said because of rising costs, some aren’t able to afford to spay or neuter their animals. In those cases, OHS has a pet assistance program, and qualified people can access a subsidized spay or neuter.

“We do encourage people to support that program,” said Runnalls, “and to apply if they’re feeling distressed and can’t afford the cost of a spay or neuter.”

Original Article