The discovery of four kittens found dumped in Woolworths shopping baskets has led to a plea from the RSPCA on the dangers of abandoning pets.
The kittens were spotted in a makeshift cage of two shopping baskets tied together next to a public bin in Clovelly Park, an inner southern suburb of Adelaide, on Tuesday by a member of the public.
The individual contacted RSPCA South Australia at 5.40pm (local time), with an inspector finding the animals, presumed to be about six weeks old, “very scared and distressed”.
The kittens were likely in the cage for several hours based on how hungry and thirsty they were, the inspector said, with the temperature in Adelaide a very chilly 13 degrees at the time.
Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis said dumping the kittens was a callous act that caused the animals unnecessary suffering.
“There is never any excuse for just abandoning animals, and leaving them exposed to the weather,” Ms Lewis said.
“If someone has animals they can no longer keep or don’t want, then either find them a good home or surrender them to a reputable animal welfare organisation like RSPCA.
“These kittens could easily have not been found until today, by which time it’s highly probable they would have died from lack of food and water, and exposure – nights have been freezing cold and these are extremely vulnerable young animals.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence under South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act, and anyone found guilty can face up to two years jail or a $20,000 fine.
Despite their ordeal, the kittens are all in good health and under the care of staff at RSPCA South Australia’s Lonsdale animal shelter.
They are expected to be available for adoption in about two weeks, once they have been desexed.
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