ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Provincial police and the OSPCA are investigating after nearly a dozen cats were found abandoned in a plastic bin north of Elliot Lake, Ont., on Tuesday.
Three adult cats and eight kittens were found in the bin, which was placed between two dumpsters on the side of a rural road outside the northern city.
Police say the animals required immediate medical attention and were taken to a local vet.
An Ontario SPCA spokeswoman says seven of the kittens survived, two of adult cats were dead and the third was euthanized on the recommendation of the treating veterinarian.
“The three adult cats that died were all female and tortoiseshell in colour and two were the mothers of the kittens that were found,” Melissa Kosowan said in an email.
Kosowan said one of the kittens was approximately seven months old and the younger kittens were from of two litters – one litter approximately three weeks old and the litter approximately five weeks old.
The OPP has assigned forensic and crime scene investigators to the case, and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is also investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call police, Crime Stoppers or the OSPCA’s animal cruelty hotline.
Const. Phil Young, the OPP’s community safety and media relations officer, said the story “almost makes you sick to your stomach.
“This many cats, in a small tote bin, with the lid on, on a hot day – it’s a bit of a recipe for disaster,” he said.