The two adult cats and three kittens were taken to the RSPCA and found to be in good health
Animal rescuers are hoping to find a forever home for five cats who were left behind in a box earlier this week.
On Monday morning, a cardboard box containing two adult cats and three kittens was discovered on the doorstep of Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in Luton, England. The previous owners who dumped the animals wrote a note on the outside of the box, requesting a home be found for the felines by Christmastime.
“Need a home. Merry Xmas — please help them,” read the handwritten message on the taped-up box flaps.
After noticing the drop-off, a staff member from the hospital contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to retrieve the abandoned animals.
Inside the box were two grown female cats and three 10-week-old kittens. Elle, the 2-year-old tabby and white cat, is believed to be the mother, and 1-year-old tabby Dee is likely her slightly younger daughter. The trio of little ones are named Amber, Penny and Lance.
The RSPCA is now appealing for information about the family of cats so teams can either return them to their owner or find them a new home. Anyone with details on the animals, or who noticed anything unusual prior to 8 a.m. on Monday morning near the hospital, should contact the RSPCA at 0300-123-8018.
“Thankfully they are all in good condition and have obviously been well looked after previously,” Melanie Fisher, an RSPCA inspector who rescued the cats, said in a statement. “They are socialized and nice and friendly, but sadly someone has left them behind.”
She added: “We understand that people’s circumstances can change which might mean they can no longer care for their pets, but dumping an animal is never the answer.”
If an owner doesn’t come forward, Fisher said, then the pets will be re-homed.
This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an estimated 3.2 million cats enter shelters every year in the U.S. Of those, about 1.6 million are adopted and 90,000 are returned to their owners, the ASPCA reports.