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Kittens die from heat after being left in box outside of animal shelter

The Friends for Life Animal Rescue said someone has been leaving cats and kittens outside in the heat for several weeks now.
Credit: Friends for Life Animal Rescue

GILBERT, Ariz. — Staff at the Friends for Life Animal Rescue shelter in Gilbert are heartbroken after someone left two boxes of kittens outside the building and two of them died due to the extreme heat.

The boxes of kittens were left on the shelter's property around 3 p.m. Tuesday with a note giving their names and birth dates taped on.

By the time the shelter's volunteers found the boxes, two of the kittens died and the rest had body temperatures exceeding 105 degrees. The staff said normal temperatures should be around 100 degrees.

"We are very saddened to say we've been attempting to handle a challenge that has now ended tragically," said Barb Savoy, a Friends for Life spokesperson. 

"Our dedicated volunteers are doing everything in our power to save the remaining kittens... and we are obviously heartbroken over the two who did not make it." 

Credit: Friends for Life Animal Rescue

The shelter said someone has been dropping off kittens and cats and leaving them by a bush along a wall at the back of their building for several weeks. The person always leaves a note with a little information and a plea for the shelter to find the animals a good home, the staff said.

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Animal abandonment is illegal in Arizona and a report was filed with the Gilbert Police Department, the shelter said. The remaining kittens are now eating and drinking on their own.

The shelter does offer options for anyone who wants to give up an animal if they have space available. They also have additional resources when the shelter if full that can be found here.

"We are asking that our supporters try to understand that whomever did this, did not do it with ill intentions, but we are asking you to please help us spread the word that these types of actions can result in devastating outcomes," said Friends for Life President, Kathy Dunham.

To prevent unwanted litters, the shelter offers a low cost spay and neuter program for those with household incomes under $45,000 to alter dogs and cats with a $15 co-pay.

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