2 kittens abandoned in child’s backpack near St. Albert, Alta.

Two kittens were found inside a closed child’s backpack in a ditch in the St. Alberta area last week, the Edmonton Humane Society said Wednesday.

“Our team cares very deeply about animals … these cases are very hard,” said EHS CEO Liza Sunley.

“It’s hard for us to imagine what would have led up to a situation like this. But we have a role to play, caring for those animals and getting them into loving homes. Seeing that end of the story brings us a lot of gratitude for the work we do and the community support.

“Unfortunately, it’s relatively common. We see animals come through our doors every single day who have been neglected or abandoned or abused.”

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The humane society doesn’t know for sure, but thinks the two kittens — a male and female — are from the same litter. One is an orange tabby and the other is grey. They’ve been named Pixie and Christofur.

“It’s ideal when litters can be adopted together,” Sunley said. “We’ll see who’s available.”

The cats had their spay and neuter surgeries Tuesday and were put up for adoption Wednesday.

“The cats are doing well,” Sunley said.

Click to play video: 'Abandoned cats and kittens is at a crisis level according to local rescue organizations'

Abandoned cats and kittens is at a crisis level according to local rescue organizations

The Alberta SPCA has opened an investigation to determine what led to the animals being left in this manner.

“The Alberta SPCA enforces the Animal Protection Act in the province of Alberta outside of the major centres,” Sunley explained.

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“They were notified of the cats, they got them to safety, and brought them to us. Our role in all of this is to take care of them, make sure they’re good and healthy, spay and neuter them and get them into loving homes.”

The Alberta SPCA will also handle any potential charges.

Pixie and Christofur, kittens found inside a backpack in St. Albert early February 2023. Supplied: Edmonton Humane Society

In light of this incident, the EHS and SPCA are reiterating the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

“Spaying and neutering is such an important step to take for pet guardians,” Sunley said. “It reduces the number of unwanted litters … It also prevents some infections and cancers and has health benefits as well.”

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There are several programs in place to help pet owners afford these surgeries, as well as other services like pet food banks.

The EHS offers Prevent Another Litter Subsidy (PALS), a low-cost spay and neuter program for pet guardians facing financial challenges.

“We do encourage people to reach out to groups like ours,” Sunley said.

“We never want someone to have to make that really difficult choice of being able to keep their animal in their home or having to surrender it and certainly we don’t want people to abandon their animals.”

&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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