(Update: Adding video, comments by police, shelter official)
Ten cats, 5 kittens in good condition at BrightSide Animal Center
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – More than a dozen cats left abandoned in totes at a northwest Redmond park earlier this week are being cared for at Brightside Animal Center as police continue to look for who is responsible.
Officers responded around 8 a.m. Monday to Paul Hathaway Park, near the edge of the Dry Canyon, where 10 adult cats and five kittens were left in three totes and abandoned near the canyon’s edge, Lt. Jesse Petersen said.
The cats smelled of urine and feces and had no access to food or water, Petersen said, though they also found a closed suitcase with cat food inside.
Petersen said Redmond police officers found the cats likely before they spent a night out in the cold.
The cats were taken to BrightSide, where they were evaluated, treated and vaccinated by veterinary staff.
“We have seven adult males, three adult females, three females that are kittens and two male kittens," BrightSide Assistant Manager Haley Halsey said Wednesday. Halsey couldn't determine for certain, but said there may be two to three litters of cats.
The kittens are all under 2 pounds and too young to stay at the shelter, so they’ll be taken to a foster home for at least two weeks. Halsey said the kittens seemed to be slightly underweight, but clean before they were put in the totes.
Sadly, those who work to rescue animals know all too well this abandonment is not an isolated case.
“I know a lot of animals abandoned in our community," Halsey said. "There are so many stray cats here, and they don’t just end up there. A lot of the time, people are not taking care of their cats.”
Petersen said: “So if you no longer have an interest in keep your animal, please contact your local animal shelter, so you can discuss your situation and what’s the best outcome for yourself and your animal.”
Redmond Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for abandoning these cats, Petersen said. If you know who the animals, totes or luggage bag belonged to, you're asked to notify police by calling Deschutes County's non-emergency number at 541-693-6911, in reference to RPD case #23-8507.
"We would also like to thank the juvenile who reported the abandoned cats and Brightside Animal Shelter for evaluating and treating the cats," Petersen said in a news release.
As a reminder, he said, it is against the law (ORS 167.340, Animal Abandonment) to abandon a domestic animal or equine at a location without providing minimum care. It is also against the law (ORS 167.325 Animal Neglect) to fail to provide minimum care for an animal in a person’s custody/control.