The RSPCA is appealing for information after three tiny kittens were found dumped in a scrap freezer in Sunderland.
The youngsters - aged just three to four weeks and too young to be away from their mum - were found by a member of the public behind a row of terrace houses in Lyndhurst Terrace, in Pallion, on Monday, June 13.
RSPCA inspector Lindsey Avery said: “The member of the public was walking up the back lane behind the houses when he heard meowing and went to check out the noise.
“When he opened the door to the scrap freezer he discovered the kittens inside.
“There was no food, water or bedding of any kind.
“He took them to a nearby house and kept them safe and warm until I could attend and collect them, for which I’m really grateful.
“If it hadn’t been for their cries and him going to investigate it doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened to them.”
Anyone with any information should call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for inspector Avery.
The two boys and one girl were taken to RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre in Chester Moor, Chester le Street and, after being checked over, are now being hand-reared by the centre’s deputy manager Claire Hunt.
Claire said: “They struggled to get used to the bottle to start with and the first three days were really difficult. I had to feed them every two hours to make sure they drank their daily amount of milk.
“They completely understand what to do now though and are taking the milk perfectly so I’m feeding them every four hours. I think they’ll need another couple of weeks before I can start weaning them.
“'Smokey' is the greediest of the bunch, he worked out the bottle quickest.
"'Fleck', who has a little white marking on his forehead, is a sweet and gentle little guy who sits watching everything I do.
'Squeak' is definitely the loudest of the gang, she likes to make her voice heard.
“I’m really happy to say that despite being away from their mum, which is where they should be at this age, they are doing really well.”
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist us in carrying out our vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)