5 min read

Woman Couldn't Believe Who She Found Inside This Metal Box

She was so hot and scared 💔

While she arrived at work on Tuesday, an employee at Pet Pantry of Lancaster County knew immediately that something was off.

The tin deposit box used to mail out lab test samples was sitting on the bench out front — but it should have been sitting around the side of the building on the back porch.

tin box kitten pet
The tin box that the shelter uses to mail out lab samples | Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

“She noticed it had been moved, so she went over and opened it up right away,” Bryan Langlois, cofounder and veterinarian of the rescue, told The Dodo. “A little kitten was staring back up at her.”

The tiny calico kitten was only around 4 or 5 weeks old — and she was completely alone. No siblings or mother were in sight. She was dehydrated, stressed and riddled with lice.

Since the box is entirely metal and lined with styrofoam to keep its contents insulated, Langlois said it’s a miracle the employee checked the box as quickly as she did. There were no slits that would have allowed air to circulate.

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Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

“It really would have been fatal if she had been in there for a few more hours,” Langlois said. “It was only 8:30 in the morning when she was found, but it definitely would have warmed up in there as the day went on and the sun hit it.”

Langlois and the vet team checked her over right away, and diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection and an eye infection. They put her on fluids and medicine, and sent her home with Kristine Spangler, rescue manager of the shelter, who will foster her for the next few weeks.

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Annie cuddling with her toy | Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

Unfortunately, pet abandonment is a common situation shelters face, especially in spring and early summer when new litters are being born. Many people choose to leave kittens or puppies in cardboard boxes at shopping plazas or outside of shelters — but there’s a much safer and more humane solution.

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Annie at her foster home | Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

“Work with a shelter directly to find help,” Langlois said. “At the height of kitten season, a lot of shelters are packed to capacity, but we really want to stress that it’s still the best option. Stuffed in a box, they’re prone to predators, heat, suffocation … so much can happen.”

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Annie eating some food at her foster home | Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

Luckily, this tiny kitten, now named Annie, survived — and it won’t be long until she’s fully healthy and ready for a home of her own.

Although she’s still a little scared right now, she’s already starting to explore, play and show lots of love to her foster mom.

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Annie hanging out with Spangler | Pet Pantry of Lancaster County

“She wasn’t exactly sure what to make of everything when she first came here,” Spangler said. “But just today, she started to seek me out for pets and cuddles.”

To help more pets like little Annie, you can make a donation to Pet Pantry of Lancaster.