A couple litters of kittens largely avoided a gruesome fate Thursday when a Good Samaritan found them sealed into a cardboard box near a dumpster in Langley City.
The man noticed noise coming from a taped-up box behind a church near 56th Avenue and 200th Street.
The finder opened the box and three kittens jumped out, and he couldnâ€™t find them again, said Sean Baker, who heads up the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).
The seven kittens remaining were turned over to LAPS, while animal control searched the nearby area for the missing trio.
â€œNo luck so far,â€ said Baker.
The seven found included an unconscious female. Staff at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter gave her fluids, and she seemed to recover somewhat last week, but died over the weekend.
On a warm day in a sealed box, none of the kittens could have survived much longer, had they not been rescued.
â€œIf this person had not come upon them when he did, it is very reasonable to expect that they would all have perished,â€ Baker told the Langley Advance.
The kittens appear to come from two different litters, and are different ages, Baker said.
The group of four-week-old kittens includes Everest, the kitten who died, Rio, Victoria, and Aurora. The six-week-olds are Cano, Canyon, and Reef.
The ages are a guess by staff based on the sizes of the kittens.
The animals spent their first night at the home of a shelter worker, and are to be sent out with a volunteer while they recover.
Baker said that this is kitten season. Litters are often dropped off with LAPS staff or left in boxes at the shelter door.
â€œLeaving them by a dumpster, out of the way and out of sight, is clearly not a responsible, or humane, way to address this challenge,â€ said Baker. â€œWe donâ€™t have unlimited resources, but we will do everything possible to help when kittens are involved. Leaving them by the dumpster was not necessary.â€
The person who dumped the kittens may not be found, Baker said. There was no security camera in the area, and itâ€™s somewhat isolated.