The Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington says someone left a kitten inside a vacuum box outside the facility’s door Thursday while the temperature hovered just below freezing.

In a post on its Facebook page, the shelter said workers opened the door to walk a staff member’s dog and found on the front step a vacuum box, taped shut, with holes poked through. Inside was a kitten; outside, it was 31 degrees.

“We don’t know how long the kitten was there — it’s been over an hour since any staff was outside,” the shelter posted late Thursday morning. “The poor kitten is fine but beyond terrified. It flew out of the box once the tape was peeled back and circled the office several times before we were able to catch him.”

The shelter said people have dropped off animals like that before but asked people to not do that.

“We recognize some people feel their circumstances are so dire they can no longer keep their animals,” the shelter wrote, but instead people should contact their local animal control officer to surrender an animal or turn in a stray.

Otherwise, the shelter asked that people communicate with them “to ensure the cat’s well-being.”

“We have a doorbell that works very well for getting our attention during our closed but staffed hours,” the shelter wrote.

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