The citizens of Campbell County, Virginia were busy digging themselves out of a blizzards aftermath in December 2018. More than a foot of snow had blanketed the area, transforming it into a beautiful winter wonderland. However, for 12 kittens abandoned inside a locked cage and thrown on the side of the road, it almost meant death.
Around 5:00 pm on the night of the 12th, Animal Control officers received a disturbing call from a concerned citizen.
The report stated, “an over-sized wire crate with a dozen felines of varying sizes had been left in a snowy field on Red Oak School Road, and the cats were in distress and needed rescue.”
When Animal Control Officer Melissa Labryer arrived at the scene, she knew there was not a moment to spare.
Four of the tiniest kittens had managed to escape between the wire openings. But they were laying in the snow and not moving. Three more of the older kittens had also gotten out of the cage and were visibly distressed. There were three more adults and two juveniles still in the cage, all soaked to the bone and shivering in the freezing temperatures.
Knowing that she needed all the help she could get, Officer Labryer called a local organization, Friends Of Campbell County Animal Control (FOCCAC).
“I need help! Can you round up volunteers to meet me at the shelter so we can save these cats?”
In a heartwarming show of support, by 7:00 pm, a dozen volunteers were there to lend a helping hand…and a warm body!
The amazing team had cancelled their plans, left dinners on the stove uneaten and jumped from one rescue to the next, just to be there. Towels, hot-water bottles and warmed blankets were standing by to wrap up the frozen felines. The heat in the office had been cranked all the way up.
“Most urgent were the tiny babies, who were dried and then tucked under our shirts for warming; next were the juveniles, who were dried, “papoosed,” and held with hot water bottles beside them. The adults were dried, placed in warmed crates, and observed. They thawed out fairly quickly, and were soon grooming one another, indicating they were going to be OK.”
Thanks to these volunteers who dropped everything to save the lives of the “Frozen 12” last night! Ralph and son Wyatt were on their way to a movie, but sped to the shelter where they prepared hot water-filled bottles, thawed out babies, then returned to the scene on Red Oak School Road to confirm there were no more babies there. Amber came straight from work, and tucked a baby under her shirt for an hour while he thawed. (She ended up needing emergency clothing change, because he became so comfortable!) Stacey arrived with her two teens, and each one snuggled and warmed a juvenile until they were ready for late dinner.Alison left dinner on the stove and headed straight over for drying time. Lauri warmed a baby under her shirt, after just arriving back home from a rescue run to the wildlife center in Roanoke with an injured owl.Pam stopped giving evening meds to the dogs and cuddled a baby til he was no longer shivering. Her daughter arrived shortly and joined her mom. ACO Labryer gave great instructions and thawed out two juveniles, then began the task of recording the information for each cat and kitten. (Being the ACO on-call is not easy!) Now YOU can help: please SHARE this post and let’s find out who the perpetrator was!! Let’s get this crime solved! People talk; they brag; they drink too much and let things slip. Any information will be welcomed. Call 434.592.9574 and ask for Animal Control.
Posted by Friends of Campbell County Animal Control on Thursday, December 13, 2018
After an hour of intensive care, all of the animals were showing improvement and their strong desire to survive. The four tiny, 6-week-old kittens all under a pound in weight, would go home with a foster family.
When litter boxes were used with a familiarity, it indicated that the poor disposed cats were likely house cats or family cats at one point. Despicable to imagine how the lives of the friendly cats had gotten to this point.
“They loved to be held, and cuddled. They give kisses, and knead our soft clothing when we hold them. These were someone’s beloved cats! Were they stolen? Are they part of a custody dispute? Did someone pass away and leave them behind with no caregiver? Are they from another county? We need information about these sweet souls!”
While they were happy the cats and kittens were now going to have a chance at life, the animal cruelty needed to be addressed.
“With survival established, we need to address the cruelty that was exhibited—the inhumanity, the barbaric treatment—exhibited by the person or parties who abandoned twelve cats and left them to die in freezing temperatures, locked in a cage.
Now YOU can help, let’s find out who the perpetrator was!! Let’s get this crime solved! People talk; they brag; they drink too much and let things slip. Any information will be welcomed and anonymous if you wish. Call 434.592.9574 and ask for Animal Control.”
While they will never give up on trying to serve justice for cats, they gave them names and began the adoption processes.
They were dubbed “The Frozen 12” and given names to match.
The felines were quickly winning over the hearts of all who heard of their harrowing tale. At the Animal Emergency & Critical Care of Lynchburg, they were happy to sponsor the adoption fees for 4 of the deserving cats who were ready to find their forever homes.
By December 20th, FOCCAC were happy to share a touching update on the thawed kittens!
“HAPPY ENDINGS! Four of the Frozen Twelve have been adopted! We are so happy to know that the community cares! Happy endings for Dove and Dancer, who were neutered and adopted from the Animal Emergency Clinic, and to Ring and Goose at the shelter! Still needing adoption are Turtle and Partridge, who are at the Animal Emergency Clinic, and Swan and Frenchie at the shelter. Our tiniest ones are not yet available.”
Little Kristoff, one of the four baby kittens, was fighting the hardest. Found lifeless, he had overcome the first hurdle but then was found to have a intestinal parasite and was fighting Coccidia.
By the time the new year arrived, all were doing much better. The FOCCAC Facebook page is happy to share updates on the once doomed cats.
“The Tiniest Of the Frozen 12 are doing well, although we are still monitoring Kristof, the black baby, very carefully. Their foster mom will vaccinate them this weekend!”
This means that they’ll be up for adoption soon! The only drawback for potential adopters is that they will ONLY be approved for “Residents of Campbell County, or counties touching Campbell, or the City of Lynchburg.” This is because after their ordeal, they will still be too young to be spayed/neutered. Staying close assures the shelter they can monitor the babies.
Thank you to everyone involved that rushed to the frozen kittens in a moments notice to save their lives! In this case, not all heroes wear capes, they wear comfy sweatshirts and big warm hearts <3
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
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