6 min read

No One Could Believe Who They Found In This Bag

They were so little and scared 💔

It was a typical day for employees at A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta, New York, last Wednesday — until they started hearing tiny cries echoing through the hallways.

When employees went to investigate, they traced the noise to a women’s restroom, where an unattended bag was sitting on the floor.

kittens abandoned bag new york
The bag after it was emptied | Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Inside were 19 very stressed and crying kittens, ranging from around 2 days to 3 weeks old. The youngest kittens still had their umbilical cords attached — and the workers immediately knew they needed help.

“They moved them all into a box and sped right down here,” Becca Daly, communications coordinator for Susquehanna Animal Shelter, told The Dodo. “It was all hands on deck. They all needed to be fed and weighed right away, which was a lot to get done with 19 kittens at once.”

kitten abandoned new york bag
Some of the older kittens in a box on the way to the shelter | Susquehanna Animal Shelter

No one knows how long the bag had been there, but fortunately, none of the kittens showed any signs of starvation or injury. The 2-day-olds were more than ready to be fed, however, as kittens this age require milk at least every two hours.

“Given the different age groups, we’re guessing they are from at least three different litters,” Daly said.“We were really surprised they were doing so well.”

kitten abandoned bag new york
Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for people to dump animals who are the result of accidental litters. Daly can remember three specific cases the shelter took on last summer where people had abandoned animals in plastic bags in public places just like this one.

It’s one of many reasons the shelter advocates for the spaying and neutering of pets, Daly said.

kittens abandoned bag
Some of the older kittens after being rescued | Susquehanna Animal Shelter

“It happens in our community far too much,” Daly said. “I think people do things like this because they think they’ll get in trouble or be embarrassed about bringing an animal to the shelter ... But it’s really in the best interest of the animals to speak up and bring them somewhere safe.”

There’s no word about who abandoned the kittens yet, but Daly is certain local police will be circulating security camera footage in hopes of identifying a suspect.

kittens abandoned bag new york
Shelter staff feeding some of the kittens with eye droppers | Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Until then, the kittens are the main focus. To keep up with the regular feedings and care the youngest kittens need, the staff paired the tiniest litter with a stray mother cat whose own kittens’ were recently weaned. She adopted them as her own just a few minutes after meeting them.

“Two days old is so little to not have a mom,” Daly said. “Their chance of survival is much better now, having actual milk and warmth from a mom. She’s really saving their lives.”

kittens abandoned new york
The mother cat with her young adopted litter | Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Now, the kittens from all the litters have been paired with siblings across seven different foster homes until they're each old enough to be weaned at 8 weeks old. Until then, they’re getting lots of care and tasty milk to make sure they grow healthy and strong.

kittens abandoned bag new york
Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Snuggled into their warm blankets with cuddles and food around the clock, it’s clear the tiny kittens are already forgetting how tough their start at life was.

And luckily, they’ll be nothing but loved from here on out.

kittens abandoned bags new york
Susquehanna Animal Shelter

“Our fosters have been so amazing,” Daly said. “We put out a call for help and people stepped right up to take them in and raise them. We’re sure a few will be adopted from their fosters, but the others will have no problem finding great homes of their own.”

To help more animals in need, you can make a donation to Susquehanna Animal Shelter. For information about adopting, you can visit the shelter’s website.