A disturbing tale involving four kittens and a plastic bag had a happy ending on the weekend.
Sunday afternoon, a woman walking her dog along Selkirk Avenue came across the sound of kittens in distress.
Determining the cries were coming from a playground field, she investigated and found four, 10-day-old kittens stuffed into a plastic shopping bag, which was tied up tightly at the handles.
'They were left to die, basically. This happens more than you know'
After checking with the city's animal services agency and the Winnipeg Humane Society, which do not take in neonatal kittens, she went to Craig Street Cats, a feral-cat management and kitten rescue facility that helps control Winnipeg's wild feline population.
Craig Street Cats founder Lynne Scott filled in more details.
"They were left to die, basically," Scott said Monday afternoon. "This happens more than you know.
"I can tell you they're alive and we're doing our best to keep them that way."
Before the kittens were stuffed in the shopping bag and tossed away, Scott figures they were with their mother at some point Sunday, as they didn't show signs of malnourishment.
The biggest concern was getting them out of the cool air Sunday evening. Though the overnight low dipped to only 9.6 C in the city, the cold, damp air would have been enough to kill the kittens.
"They wouldn't have survived the night," Scott said.
Now for the "happy ending" part -- and the potential for an even happier ending.
Though the non-profit Craig Street Cats sees dozens of young and old cats come in every week, the shelter is not a permanent residence for the animals. The need for suitable adoptive homes is ongoing.
Scott is looking for an experienced foster home for the felines, with someone who knows how to bottle-feed kittens this young.
The bottle-feeding needs to last about two to three more weeks before the kittens can take solid food, she said.
If no one can step up and take the kittens at this stage, the rescue facility will put the kittens up for adoption once they are able to eat on their own.
For more information on the adoption process, contact Craig Street Cats at 204-421-1919.