When a woman in West Virginia drove to an animal shelter, she happened across a drenched cardboard box that was left outside in the rain. Once she opened it and saw a pair of eyes staring up at her, she knew she had to act fast.
Robin Kilgore was supposed to pick up a dog at an animal shelter in Logan, but when she arrived and got out of her car, she heard cries coming from a box that was placed on the ground just outside the gates of the shelter. Kilgore quickly called Selena Marcum, the president of The Paws Squad rescue group, for help.
“It was raining super hard and the box was soaked,” Marcum told The Dodo.
When Kilgore opened the box, she saw a cat looking up at her. Beside her were her three newborn kittens shivering from the cold.
“She moved the box and it just fell apart,” Marcum said. “The mama and her babies were drenched.”
“They were snuggling with momma trying to stay warm. It was raining that morning and we have no idea how long they had been there,” Teresa Atkins of One By One Animal Advocates told Love Meow.
After drying the kittens, Kilgore put them in a crate headed to the One By One Animal Advocates located in Huntington, West Virginia, as the staff there had offered to help find a foster home for the feline family.
The kittens, later named Cheddar, Velveeta, and Panda, and their mother, Gypsie, were found to be healthy after vets examined them.
The vets also estimated that the kittens were only 3 or 4 days old and would not have survived in the cold if Kilgore found them at a later time.
“We’re very lucky that Robin happened to find them when she did,” Marcum said. “I truly think they would’ve drowned in that box.”
Marcum said that this is not the first time that animals were left at the shelter’s gates prior to opening time—it’s happened many times in fact.
“We’ve driven over to pick up animals before and have seen them stuffed in boxes, or tied to the front gates outside,” she said.
As for the cat family, they are currently in safe hands.
“Mom is a little timid right now but she’s nursing well and taking good care of her boys,” Marcum said. “They’ll stay with their foster mom until they’re weaned, then all will be spayed and neutered and ready for a new home.”