The brother and sister are two of sixteen cats that were left to die by the side of a New Hampshire road

By Amy Jamieson
Updated February 09, 2012 09:00 PM

Home. Some cats and dogs never have one to call their own. We want to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary homeless pet every week. Today, we’d like you to meet Mel and Buck, 9-month-old siblings whose heartbreaking story made local headlines just after Christmas.

The pair are two of the Sweet Sixteen, a group of 16 cats and kittens dumped by the side of a quiet road in Manchester, N.H., on one of the coldest days of the year.

“Somebody was driving by and saw two very small crates,” says Manchester Animal Shelter manager, Shelley Greengrass. “When she was driving back from the store, she noticed the crates where still there. She got out of the car checked them and that’s when she found them.”

Freezing cold, terrified, and suffering from upper respiratory infections and conjunctivitis, the cats were taken in by the good Samaritan. One of the females gave birth to a litter of kittens almost immediately. Sadly, two of the babies didn’t make it.

On Jan. 5, the Sweet Sixteen were admitted to the Manchester Animal Shelter, where they spent weeks recovering from their illnesses. So far, three have gone on to forever homes, but Mel, a gray female, and Buck, a black male, are having a hard time getting noticed by adopters because of their shyness.

“Mel is very, very scared,” says Greengrass. “I would definitely say she is traumatized.”

Her brother Buck is slightly more outgoing, but still needs a patient owner to help get him out of his shell. “He’ll let you pet him,” she says. “Mel is definitely the one that needs the extra attention but they both need to learn to trust again.”

The litter box-trained kitties would do best in a home that has a small room where they can gradually adjust to their surroundings. “You don’t want to give a shy cat the whole house because then they’ll go hide and they won’t let them give you a chance to work with them,” she says.

If you want to help Mel and Buck overcome their past, contact the Manchester Animal Shelter at (603) 628-3544.

Click here to meet last week’s adoptable pet, Jackson.