Kitten taped in cardboard box in Esquimalt points to bigger pandemic pet problem

Kitten taped in cardboard box in Esquimalt points to bigger pandemic pet problem
File Photo
A picture of Jelly Bean, who was found taped-up in a cardboard box on the side of the road.

A sweet little black and white kitten is lucky to be alive after being found taped inside a cardboard box in Esquimalt.

“This is a huge concern,” says Natalie Kroschinsky, an animal advocate and the founder of Dee’s Orphan Kitten Fund. “The outcome could have been tragic. If nobody had found her, she certainly would have died in that box.”

A maintenance worker found the kitty, who’s about 10-weeks-old, along the side of the road and there was a bag of food sitting beside the taped-up box.

“She actually looks like she’s been pretty well cared for,” says Dr. Eric Wilkening of McKenzie Veterinary Services, where the kitten was taken to be checked out. “Her vitals are completely normal. It looks like she’s been well-fed.”

The playful kitten, who’s been named Jelly Bean, was found near the home of a long-time Dee’s Orphan Kitten Fund volunteer.

“I greatly suspect a desperate person acted in a desperate manner because they felt they had no other recourse, no other place to turn to,” Kroschinsky says.

It’s part of a growing problem this pandemic — people dumping or surrendering pets they can longer care for.

“We’re seeing a ton more animals right now,” says Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society, which now has a shelter building with regular office hours. “I would say we’ve increased 50 per cent last month and before that we had increased 50 per cent then too so it’s spiralling up.”

A job loss, having to move, returning to work or just becoming overwhelmed are some of the common reasons.

Local rescues say, however, they’re here to help — and pets should never be left in a box or set free in the wild.

“We can always take them immediately but lots of times, if we can get can 24 hours notice, it’s great so we can get them into the proper foster home instead of spending time at the shelter.”

As for Jelly Bean, her prognosis is good.

“It’s great!” Dr. Eric Wilkening says. “Look at her — she’s healthy as can be! And she’s cute. I’d take her if I could.”

Jelly Bean will be up for adoption soon through Dee’s Orphan Kitten Fund.

Learn more about Dee’s Orphan Kitten Fund and the work they do with stray and feral pets in this episode of Pet CHEK.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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