Minnow and Scuttle

Minnow and Scuttle are two of five kittens rescued from a trash bag in an alley. They are now recovering at the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter. (Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter)

Five young kittens are recovering at a Winnipeg animal shelter after being found in a plastic bag in a back alley, an incident animal activists say happens too often.

Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter is nursing the kittens back to health and hand feeding them after getting a call that five-week-old kittens were dumped in a garbage bag in the Garden City Area.

“They were found in a bag in a back alley, and they were taken into a vet clinic who called us and asked us if we could help so we took them in here,” said Carla Martinelli-Irvine, the executive director of the rescue shelter. “They are as cute as buttons. It makes you wonder why people do this type of thing.”

She said the call isn’t unusual. The shelter typically gets between 50 and 70 calls a day about abandoned animals.

“It’s horrifying to people who aren’t in the industry, and it’s very sad to say that this is common now,” she said. “We have to be diligent on when you see bags and boxes to make sure that there’s nothing live in there because it is becoming common practice.”

The shelter has locked the BFI bin behind their building to prevent people from dumping animals there.

The litter of five is now doing well, but Martinelli-Irvine said the rescue shelter’s resources have been pushed to the limit. Every cage at the centre was already full when the kittens arrived and volunteers are in desperate need of kitty litter and canned cat food for the animals.

The kittens are now available for pre-adoption, but they will have to stay at the shelter until they are older. Martinelli-Irvine added they were quite small for their age, weighing less than a pound each.