Local Bicyclists find sack of kittens abandoned near Good Hope | The Cullman Tribune


Bicyclists find sack of kittens abandoned near Good Hope

Holly Hirsbrunner, Rita Kelley and Dixie Bergquist with the kittens shortly after they were found Saturday morning.  Photo by David Hudson

GOOD HOPE - On Saturday morning, a group of friends bicycling near Good Hope heard a strange sound coming from the creek in the woods alongside the county road.  Rita Kelley, Dixie Bergquist and Holly Hirsbrunner stopped to investigate what seemed to be faint meowing; they discovered a plastic grocery bag containing four young kittens.

“It looked like they were trying to throw them in the creek,” said Bergquist, “but they missed by about 3 feet.”

Kelley’s daughter came by car and picked up the kittens.  They were transported to Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in north Cullman, where The Tribune dropped by on Monday.

Angie Adams, a kennel keeper for Lee’s, said, “They’ve got antibiotics and regular feedings now, and they’re purring now.  They’re nice and warm.  We’ll be taking care of them for the next few weeks; they’re approximately about three weeks old, and we’ll be taking care of them for three to five more weeks.  We will probably spay or neuter them before they leave, so we won’t have any more cases like this.”

Stephanie Hill of Dirty Dawg Rescue put Amber Lotero, who fosters cats, in touch with the clinic.

Said Adams, “She’s got adopters lined up for three, and they’re going to keep one, barring anything wrong with them.  Stephanie does a lot of different wildlife and things like that, as well as dogs.”

So just how common are cases of abandonment like this?

“Unfortunately,” said Adams, “here it’s a lot more common than you would think.  We had 27 come through here in one eight-week period.  It differs.  It’s getting better with the development of the spay and neuter clinic, where it’s more accessible, and the spay and neuter weeks, where they get the discounted prices.  It’s getting better than it was but, unfortunately, it’s still not where it should be.”

Abandoned pets coming through the clinic are a mix of throwaways like these, along with kittens picked up after the mother was killed by a wild animal.  At the time of The Tribune’s visit, Lee’s also had two other young kittens, one whose mother had been killed by a coyote, and another that had been tossed from a car in front of a local church.

“Puppies aren’t as much on the abandonment,” continued Adams.  “Could be the fact that there’s more rescues for them.  Unfortunately, in Cullman we don’t have as many cat rescues.  That’s why you’ll see more cats abandoned than puppies. 

“Luckily, CAAWA (Cullman Area Animal Welfare Association) takes a lot and re-homes them.  They’ve actually got two sets that were abandoned here.”

How citizens can help

Adams shared, “CAAWA is always looking for folks that want to foster, whether it be dogs or cats.  CAAWA’s always in need of people who will take animals in.  And they do adoption groups like twice a month at PetSmart.  They do their shows that show the animals, and then they’re listed on Petfinder.

“As far as getting into it, it’s just contacting one of the more reputable rescues.  Unfortunately, there are a lot that just want to flip for a dollar.  I recommend making sure who they look to is a good, honest group.  But CAAWA is probably one of the best.”

CAAWA can be found online at http://awos.petfinder.com/shelters/caawa.html, or reached by phone at 256-636-4627 or email at caawarescue@yahoo.com.

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  • All four three-week-old kittens are expected to be fine.
  • The tiniest kitten’s eyes still haven’t opened.
  • All four kittens have families who have offered to adopt them when they are old enough to leave the vet’s care.