A woman who abandoned two cats zipped inside of a suitcase on the porch of the Franklin County Animal Shelter on Monday has not come forward despite pleas by the shelter.

The cats were left Monday around 11:30 a.m. The Farmington shelter opened to the public at noon.

A year-old cat was found zipped into the large compartment of the suitcase, and a 5-month-old kitten was found zipped into the bag’s small side compartment, Kelsey Cler, website and volunteer coordinator for the shelter, said Wednesday.

The shelter posted about the cats, along with a photo, on its Facebook page Monday, and while the post has generated outrage and concern for the well-being of the pets, no one has said they know the woman or the cats.

Monday’s Facebook post, which had been shared 199 times and garnered 84 comments as of Wednesday afternoon, was not meant to shame the woman who did it, according to Cler, but rather serve as a public service announcement of how to properly surrender pets to the shelter.

“It wasn’t a witch hunt or anything,” Cler said. “Even if (the woman) does step forward, it would just be a conversation.”


Cler said someone in the parking lot waiting for the shelter to open Monday saw the woman drive up to the front of the building in a bright red SUV, put the suitcase on the porch and drive away.

The woman who abandoned the cats was wearing a beanie-type hat and glasses, according to the woman who saw her.

The witness saw a compartment of the bag move as she knocked on the door of the shelter to alert staff. The cats were outside for about five or 10 minutes, Cler said.

The cats are healthy, Cler said. The shelter believes they are mother and kitten.

“They’re doing great here. They are a little shy,” Cler said.

The shelter accepts surrendered pets when there is room. Last year the shelter accepted 299 surrendered cats, a high for the shelter. There is a fee of $30 for surrendering a cat. To surrender a dog there is a $50 fee. The dog must additionally pass a temperament test. Money generated from the surrender fee is used to spay or neuter the pets.

Cler said that people often try to avoid the surrender fee by abandoning their pets outside the shelter, like Monday’s incident. In the past, a dog has been left chained to the shelter’s front porch and a box of kittens was found left at the end of the driveway during a blizzard.

If an individual cannot afford the surrender fee, the shelter will work with them.

“We understand that people get in a financial situation and cannot afford to care for their pets. We will work with people,” Cler said. “We definitely don’t encourage leaving them outside.”

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