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Kittens found abandoned in Powassan family mailbox

A family in Powassan, Ont. returned home Wednesday morning to find three kittens abandoned in their mailbox. Only one survived.

Two kittens die, but the third survives — and is in good health

"I was devastated. I've always loved animals, and to think that someone could just put these little, tiny baby kittens in a cold tin mailbox and just leave, just abandon them, I felt shame for the people that would have done that," Leslie Armitage tells CBC News. (Provided)

A family in Powassan, Ont. says they are "devastated" after returning home Wednesday morning to find three kittens abandoned in their mailbox.

"My dad had come home, [and the] mailman came down the driveway and asked if my father lived at this address," said Leslie Armitage.

"He said there were kittens in the mailbox. My dad couldn't believe it."

Armitage said her father opened up the tin mailbox to find three kittens that were only four weeks old.

"One of them was dead, and the other didn't make it. The [third] one was full of life," Armitage told CBC.

The Armitage family's tin mailbox is located about 350 metres away from their home. (Provided)

"I was devastated," Armitage said.

"I've always loved animals, and to think that someone could just put these little, tiny, baby kittens in a cold tin mailbox and just leave — just abandon them — I felt shame for the people that would have done that."

The kittens were left on an absorbent pad with no food or note, Armitage said.

"I assume the person thought, 'these people love animals, we'll just drop them here.' But it's very inhumane," she said. "I don't know if they were there overnight."

Armitage said she contacted Ontario Provincial Police to report what happened.

"The constable that showed up — she looked at the size of the kitten — and she was devastated," she said.

"She took down all the information she could but, without having a [camera] that may have caught someone, there's not a lot they could do."

Leslie Armitage holds the surviving abandoned kitten, which she says she'll adopt. Local animal control says the abandoning of animals is common. (Provided)

Abandoning kittens not uncommon

Dumping kittens isn't uncommon in the area, according to Powassan animal control officer Sandy Briggs.

"They get left in front of the vet clinic, in front of the humane society, and we've had cats dumped here," Briggs said.

"We get up in the morning and there's crates at the end of the driveway."

Briggs said her animal control office doesn't have the facilities to take cats, and there is no bylaw or licensing for cats in the area.

"There are a couple of places that will take cats, but usually they sort of get started and within a couple of weeks they're overloaded with cats and kittens," she said.

Briggs said what usually happens is someone will get a cat, choose not to spay or neuter it, and wind up with a litter of kittens they can't take care of.

The surviving kitten is doing well, Leslie Armitage says. (Provided)

Armitage adopts surviving kitten

Armitage told CBC she hopes people will keep an eye out for other abandoned pets, especially as it gets colder.

She said the surviving kitten has been checked by a vet and is doing well. 

She's decided to keep it, but hasn't thought of a name yet.

"I want something original," she said.

It's the kind of story that any animal lover hates to hear. A family in Powassan came home to find three kittens abandoned in their mailbox at the end of the driveway. Only one of them survived. We spoke to Leslie Armitage about what happened. 7:52


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