LUCKY: Alice Ruddle with the four dumped kittens she is helping to care for.
LUCKY: Alice Ruddle with the four dumped kittens she is helping to care for. Monique Preston

Dumped kittens lucky to be alive

Four tiny kittens are lucky to be alive after a Sugarloaf family found them dumped in a shopping bag on the side of the road near their house.

Veterinarian Julie Ruddle said her husband Jeffrey noticed the shopping bag on the side of Sugarloaf Rd when he went to put the bins out one morning.

Assuming it had fallen out of the neighbour's bin, he picked it up to put it in theirs. That's when he noticed something move, and found the kittens, with their eyes still yet to open, huddled inside.

Dr Ruddle and two of her daughters, Alice and Joanna, have been caring for the kittens ever since, bottle feeding them a lactose free milk supplement about six times a day and toileting them.

Dr Ruddle said it was not known what had happened to the mother cat, whether she had died or a person had taken the kittens away from her.However she labelled the dumping of the kittens cruel, saying it was lucky they were found on the same day they were dumped.

She said some weeks, no-one would walk the 200m down their driveway to road from their house and her vet surgery for several days.

"We hate seeing this,” she said.

"That was cruelty. Thank god we got them in really quickly,” she said.

"I've been a vet for a very long time and I've seen some terrible things.”

Dr Ruddle urged people to be responsible pet owners and to get their animals desexed at a young age.

"If people can't pay for desexing they should re-think having a pet,” she said.

"When you are thinking about getting a pet, you have to think you may have it for 15 years. They're living things. They rely on us.”

Dr Ruddle has already found homes for three of the kittens when they are old enough to leave.

She is still hopeful of finding a home for the fourth, a little black and white boy.

Anyone interested in the fourth kitten can contact Dr Ruddle on 4946 1028.