In the early hours of April 27, police officers in Auburn, Washington, got a tip from a concerned citizen about a suspicious package left on the side of the road.
The cardboard box was sealed up with tape, and the person who left it there was nowhere to be seen. The officers went to investigate.
What they found inside was something they never expected:
There was a litter of kittens!
“Imagine our surprise when the box was opened and these lovable fellows were found inside!” the Auburn Police Department wrote, posting the photo on Facebook.
While there turned out to be nothing dangerous inside the package, it was still a cause for concern—someone had cruelly abandoned the cats, potentially dooming them if they weren’t found.
Sometimes owners are unable to care for their pets, but there are ethical ways of giving them away. This person didn’t get the memo, or didn’t care.
“To those that left them there, shame on you!” the police wrote, asking anyone with information to contact them.
Soon the department was getting plenty of calls—not with crime tips, but with adoption requests.
The post went viral and people started calling to adopt the kittens!
After being found on the road, things turned around big time for these stray kittens. They were put in the care of the Auburn Valley Humane Society.
They were given veterinary care and, unlike many strays, were found to be well enough to be put up for adoption.
And while their original owner was desperate to get rid of them, there were plenty of people lining up to take them home.
“We had people putting them on hold as soon as they saw the pictures the police department had posted,” Julia Sauer of the Auburn Valley Humane Society told Q13.
The cats are now on their way to loving new homes.
The kittens, already spayed and neutered and with all their shots, were taken home by eager new families.
“I just happen to see a posting from the Auburn Police Department about what happened here,” said Julie Parascondola, who adopted a kitten named Piper.
“I lost one of my cats a couple months ago to kidney failure.”
And a kitten named Scarlett went home with the Negron family, who saw the post and immediately called up the shelter to adopt.
“I think it’s really cool that we get to have a kitten,” said their daughter Mia.
While these kittens had a happy ending, it’s easy to think how things might’ve gone differently if they weren’t found that night.
The Auburn Valley Humane Society hopes the story will remind people to always use an ethical solution to give away your pets—it’ll give them a chance for a new life.
“Don’t feel embarrassed to come,” Sauer said. “That’s why we’re here.”