Someone left 21 kittens outside an emergency veterinarian's office in Canton early Sunday morning. Now animal rescuers are checking the babies out and hoping to them find forever homes.
Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, employees at Canton Emergency Vet found two crates full of 21 young kittens outside their building. Experts estimate the kittens range between 3 week and 12 weeks old.
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The Animal Friends of Connecticut shelter in New Britain will provide for the kittens, which will be placed in foster homes in hope that they will eventually be adopted.
Jean B. Blackman, the shelter manager, said the kittens could have been taken from a feral cat colony. They will need to be checked out by veterinarians and socialized before they are ready for adoption.
“We’ll probably get them all adopted again. At least that certainly is our hope,” Blackman said.
Some of the kittens were very young and should never have been separated from their nursing mother so early. Blackman said it is illegal to take kittens away from their mother before they are 8 weeks old, and some of these kittens were as young as 3 to 4 weeks old.
“Especially these really little ones, and there are some, as you can see that are probably only about four weeks old, and they still need their mama,” Blackman said.
State law does state that "no person, firm or corporation shall import or export for the purposes of sale, adoption or transfer or offering for sale, adoption or transfer any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks unless such dog or cat is transported with its dam and no person, firm or corporation shall sell or offer for adoption or transfer within the state any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks."
She suggested that if you ever find a group of kittens with their mother and are unsure of what to do, call experts before taking the kittens from their mother.
“Realize that what this person did is illegal and cruel,” Blackman said.
These kittens, while young, appear healthy and will be placed in foster homes until they can be put up for adoption.
When they are ready for adoption, they will be posted on the AFOC website.
Those interested in adopting one of the kittens should contact AFOC. Blackman stressed that adopting a kitten is a commitment to take care of it for up to 20 years.
“Yes, kittens are adorable. They’re so cute. But they grow into cats. And guess what – cats are just as adorable and just as fun, but they’re not the same as a kitten. So you’re committing yourself to probably 18 to 20 years. You have medical bills, you have spaying and neutering.”
She also encouraged cat owners and potential cat owners to neuter or spay their pets so you don't wind up with a litter of your own. If you think these guys are adorable but aren't up for the commitment, you can help by donating. AFOC is a registered public charity and always in need of supplies.
For more information on pet adoption, visit our Clear the Shelters page here. Nearly 700 shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo for Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 19 that helps find loving homes for animals in need. Almost 54,000 pets found their forever homes through the program in 2016.