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These kittens dumped across the North Shore were rescued just in time

'It’s a death sentence to put them out and hope that somebody will find them'

Seven tiny kittens from separate litters have been given second chances at life after they were found severely dehydrated and malnourished in different locations on the North Shore during the heat wave.   

The first three kittens, estimated to be between five and seven weeks old, were spotted in the bushes below the stairwell to the Government Dock in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, by people walking by on Thursday (June 24).

Lana Simon, founder of Pacific Animal Foundation, based in North Vancouver, believes the kittens were left to fend for themselves by a cat owner who didn’t want them.

“We don't know the story,” she said. “But we are worried that someone’s cat had kittens and they didn't want them, so they just dumped them.

“It’s a death sentence to put them out and hope that somebody will find them.”

Due to their friendly nature, and how comfortable the kittens are with humans, Simon said it was obvious “these kittens are not feral.”  

“Feral kittens don't want anything to do with humans,” she explained.

Simon said one of the foundation’s volunteers, Devon Teimoori, was alerted about the first kittens and jumped out of bed to pick them up at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“They're the size of my hand,” Teimoori explained. “They were skin and bone and extremely dehydrated.”

 “One was a little bit more active, and the other one was pretty lethargic and slow.”

Teimoori agreed the kittens were not feral.

“They're very people social,” she explained. “They came out of the bushes up to them [the people who found them], meowing.”

Two of the kittens were taken to Norgate Animal Hospital for a checkup and were found to be in poor health. Both were dehydrated and malnourished, and one was suffering an infection. The third kitten was taken in by one of the Good Samaritans who found them. He has since been in contact with the foundation to say the kitten was still lethargic and he would be taking it to the vet for treatment.  

“They had to get subcutaneous fluids, which tells me they would not have made it through the weekend with these temperatures, they might have not even made it another day because one was so lethargic,” Simon said.

On top of the deadly heat – with temperatures hitting the high 30s and feeling more like they’re above 40 with humidity – she said the kittens would have also been facing predators at night, including coyotes.  

She said the first two kittens had received treatment and were now recovering in a wonderful foster home with Teimoori’s mother, who is a retired vet technician and 20-year volunteer.

With more fluids now in their system, and some love and affection, Teimoori said the kittens were beginning to bounce back.

A further four kittens were later found in different locations, also underweight and severely dehydrated.

Three more kittens were found in Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park). Simon said one man who came across two kittens in a box had been in contact with the foundation and had decided to care for them himself. She said he had taken them to the vet for treatment and they were happy to know they were “going to a good home.” 

That same day (June 24), a woman walking her dog found the fourth kitten hiding under the hood of parked car outside of the Seasons complex on Raven Woods Drive after hearing meowing. The kitten is now being cared for by West Vancouver SPCA.

Teimoori said the kittens found in Cates Park were white ginger, whereas the other four were all white and grey tabbies, so it was likely they were dealing with two separate dumping incidents.

“It's very strange that there's all these different instances that we've had on the same weekend,” she said.

“Every cat luckily now we know has been to the vet and is getting treatment and is going to be OK. “They're in foster care. Once they're healthy enough, they will be up for adoption.”

Pacific Animal Foundation has been running for 23 years on the North Shore. The volunteer-run organization mostly focuses on feral cats, working to trap them humanly, neuter them and return them to the wild. But Simon said they also helped stray or abandoned cats.

She said it was extremely disappointing to come across dumped kittens in a day and age where there were so many organizations willing to help, and resources available to make better choices.

“It's a pretty cruel thing to do,” she said.

“We try to educate people that there are choices, and there is help out there. Everybody has a computer these days, you know, so they can Google and find a local rescue group or they can phone a vet clinic for advice.”

Simon said while finding dumped domestic kittens is now a lot rarer than it used to be back in the 1990s, due to the number of organizations available to help, she wanted to share the story to ensure the next person “thinks twice” and calls for help instead.

Teimoori echoed Simon’s message, saying “we don’t want to scare people away, we just want them to know we will take them [kittens] without questions or judgment.”

“Just give us a call instead of dumping them,” she said.

Pacific Animal Foundation can be contacted at 604-723-7891.

The West Vancouver SPCA can be contacted at 604-922-4622. The SPCA also explains what to do if you find a kitten in the below video: