FARMINGTON — For the second time since Monday, a kitten has been abandoned outside the Franklin County Animal Shelter.

On Thursday, a 4- to 6-month-old white and tiger, short-haired, male kitten was found on the front step of the shelter in a cardboard box, taped shut with holes poked through it, said Dory Diaz, website and volunteer coordinator.

On Monday, two long-haired kittens, a female and a male about 4 to 6 months old, were found in a small kitten carrier outside. Those kittens were found right away.

In either case, no one rang the doorbell to let anyone know inside that an animal had been dropped off, Diaz said.

On Thursday, shelter Executive Director Kevin Egers went out to walk a staff member’s dog and found the taped-shut vacuum cleaner box.

“We could tell there was likely an animal inside because of the weight, but it was quiet,” Diaz said. “When the box was untaped, the cat came flying out and was very terrified.”

It took a few minutes to catch the kitten inside the shelter. The kitten is fine now, she said.

She didn’t know how long the kitten was out in the cold because no one had been outside for an hour to 90 minutes.

“We don’t want to point fingers or make anyone feel bad,” she said. “We just want to educate the public.”

If people can’t afford to care for animals, they can call the animal control officer. If nothing can be done, then they can contact the shelter on Route 43 in Farmington at 207-778-2638.

“If they can’t afford a fee, we will work with them,” Diaz said. “Our priority is to help the community and help the animals. The weather is getting cold and we know people’s funds are getting tight. People are desperate. Our priority is for the animals, not the money.”

She does not believe the two abandoned animal cases are related.

All three kittens are getting work-ups to determine their state of health. They will be vaccinated and spayed or neutered. They will then be available for adoption. The kittens found Monday are expected to be fixed next Monday.

The shelter has a total of 80 cats, 65 in-house and the rest in foster care, Diaz said.

If anyone wants to make a donation to the shelter, it can be money, Purina Cat Chow or grain-free dog food.

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