This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
WEST JORDAN -- An animal hospital is caring for four kittens and their mother Monday after they were discovered in the dumpster outside the hospital's building.
The kittens and their mother were found inside a suitcase that was locked and taped closed with black duct tape. The only reason they were found in the dumpster was because one of the kittens somehow squeezed its way out of a bent opening in the corner of the suitcase.
The kittens were discovered on Saturday by a tech at the Jordan River Animal Hospital located near 1500 West and 9000 South. The tech was taking out the trash when she found the first kitten meowing and rummaging around the dumpster. Later that day, the tech made a second trip to the dumpster and found a purple suitcase with the remaining kittens inside.
"These kitties' fate was either to be cooked to death based on the temperatures that were out there that day or to starve or thirst to death," said Dr. Terry Silkman, owner of Jordan River Animal Hospital. "Or be crushed when the dumpster got picked up in a couple of days with the trash."
People are heartless, and they do this all the time. And we all need to be well aware that there are animals out there that need our help.
Dr. Silkman has been treating the kittens and their mother since they were discovered Saturday. He said the kittens are about 2 months old and in good condition, which means they were probably not in the dumpster for too long. The person who put the kittens in the dumpster could have dropped them off inside the hospital, Dr. Silkman said, the hospital could have taken them in or helped find a place for them to live.
Dr. Silkman said it is frustrating and disappointing that someone could treat an innocent animal that way.
"You look at these kitties and you see how nearly perfect they are and you say there are better alternatives than the fate they would have suffered had not someone found them," he said.
The animals don't appear to have been previously abused, Dr. Silkman said, they are not scared of humans, but are playful and friendly. He said one of the kittens has already found a home with a tech that works at the hospital. He hopes to find a permanent home for the remaining four soon. If anyone is interested, they can call the hospital at 801-561-8872.
Megan Slizeski, who found the kittens, decided to adopt one, which she named Oliver.
"People are heartless, and they do this all the time. And we all need to be well aware that there are animals out there that need our help," Slizeski said.
The West Jordan Police Department said they are looking into what happened. The person responsible, if caught, could face felony animal cruelty charges.