Five kittens are lucky to be alive after someone left them inside a closed bin behind a car parked in a driveway in Woodville Gardens this week.
Fortunately, the car’s owner needed to retrieve an item from her boot before backing her car out and discovered the animals.
The kittens are about five weeks old and some were showing signs of heat stress when found.
“The bin’s been left behind a car on a driveway with the hinged lid down, so it would have warmed up quickly inside,” RSPCA spokesperson Carolyn Jones said.
“They had no water, no blanket, nothing but some remnants of rotting food – the bin stank.
“It’s no way to treat any living creature, let alone tiny young kittens that have been taken from their mother too soon.”
The distinctive pink plastic wheelie bin in which the kittens were found is commonly used for household storage rather than rubbish.
An RSPCA South Australia Rescue Officer collected the kittens and took them to a vet, where they were found to be in reasonable health despite their ordeal. They are now recovering at the Lonsdale animal shelter and will go into foster care until they are old enough to be adopted.
In the last two months the RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter has taken in more than 300 unwanted kittens, some of them found dumped overnight outside the gates of the Lonsdale shelter.
There are currently more than 200 kittens in foster care, all still too young to be adopted.
There are five kittens up for adoption, together with about 20 adult cats.
Ms Jones said dumping incidents reflect the consequences of irresponsible cat owners who fail to desex their animals. New laws under SA’s Dog and Cat Management Act*, introduced on July 1 this year, require all cats born after that date to be desexed by six months of age except those owned by registered breeders.
This means that all cats over six months of age will need to be desexed by 1 January next year. However, the RSPCA wants cats desexed as soon as possible after they turn 8 weeks old. This is because female cats can start producing litters from four months of age.
Anyone with unwanted kittens is urged to keep them with their mother until they are at least nine weeks of age. They can then find good homes for them or surrender them to the RSPCA or another reputable animal care facility.
“We cannot stress this enough – do not dump kittens or any animal,” Ms Jones said.
“They are not rubbish, they are sentient creatures capable of suffering every bit as much as you and I can.
“And if you end up with an unwanted litter, then do the right thing and make sure your cat’s desexed so it doesn’t happen again.”
RSPCA South Australia’s care of animals, including these hundreds of kittens, is wholly reliant on donations. This week the Society launched its Guardian Angel campaign, enabling supporters to sponsor the care of an animal that will be spending the Christmas/New Year period in the Lonsdale shelter.
Guardian Angel also provides the perfect gift choice for environmentally friendly animal lovers who don’t want more things, but do want to make a difference.
For more information: www.rspcaguardianangel.com.au
*Laws contained within the Dog and Cat Management Act are enforced by local councils and the Dog and Cat Management Board.