Mike Merino got a squeaky surprise when he took out the trash on Tuesday morning.
Merino, who was visiting family members in Longmont, Colo., threw a bag of garbage into the Dumpster behind his family’s apartment building. When the bag hit, Merino heard some meowing.
He stepped back and looked into the Dumpster to find the source of the noise and discovered it was coming from a cardboard box, carefully taped up, apparently in order to keep the cats inside from escaping.
The bottom of the box appeared to be soaked with melted snow and urine. He said he didnt open it for fear it would disintegrate.
When I heard them meowing I knew something was not right, Merino said. I’m just glad I heard them, because pick up day would have seen them crushed or put in the landfill.
Merino said he carefully loaded the unopened container into his car and drove to the city shelter, which was closed. So he brought the mewing box to the Longmont Animal Hospital, where staffer Coqui Stetson cut the tape and discovered a mother cat and seven kittens.
They were cold, but they were not lethargic despite Monday night’s frigid temperatures, said veterinary technician Janice Green.
Green said the Animal Hospital is testing the cat and kittens for possible diseases and nursing them back to health.
The Longmont Animal Hospital has already found homes for two of the cats, but they are still looking for families for the other six.
They certainly are social and playful as ever, which means someone took good care of them,” said veterinarian Dr. Linda Shoens. “We just want to let everyone know if there is a reason they cant handle a pet, bring it to an animal hospital or shelter.
“If you were in a bad situation and couldn’t take care of them anymore, there’s other avenues to go through than throwing them away in a Dumpster,” Stetson said.
“It’s a shame to know someone would do something like that,” said Merino. “It’s nasty. I mean, if they do something like that to a cat just living life, what would they do to a human? I’m glad I found them and I’m glad they were in good shape.”
Longmont police said their animal control officers are investigating the incident. If the person who dumped the kittens is found, he or she could get a fine or jail time.