The RSPCA is appealing for information after five cats were dumped in a cardboard box with a note asking for someone to give them a home for Christmas.
Two adult female cats and three little ten-week-old kittens were found inside a cardboard box outside Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in Lewsey Road at about 8am on Monday (November 25).
A staff member for the hospital clinic spotted the cats and contacted the RSPCA and Inspector Melanie Fisher came to rescue them.
They were found in a box which was taped up with a note on it which read: “Need a home. Merry Xmas - please help them.”
RSPCA animal rescuer, Melanie said: “These cats were abandoned in a box outside the hospital early on Monday morning.
"Thankfully they are all in good condition and have obviously been well looked after previously.
"They are socialised and nice and friendly but sadly someone has left them behind.
"We understand that people’s circumstances can change which might mean they can no longer care for their pets but dumping an animal is never the answer.
"Luckily, these cats were found by a kind member of the public and are now being cared for by the RSPCA Bedfordshire South branch.”
The RSPCA is appealing for information to see if anyone recognises the cats, or if they saw anything unusual between 7am and 8am on Monday outside the hospital.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.
The family of cats include two-year-old tabby and white cat Elle, who is believed to be the mum of the others, one-year-old tabby female Dee who is believed to be her slightly older daughter as they are very close, and two black and white and one tabby kitten named Amber, Penny and Lance.
“If no owner comes forward then the cats will be rehomed,” Melaine explained. “Let’s hope they can find a loving forever home before Christmas!”
On Christmas Day last year, the charity received 934 calls to its cruelty line - the highest number for five years and almost a third more than in 2017.
This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need. To donate directly to RSPCA Bedfordshire South and help them care for more animals like Elle, Dee and the kittens this Christmas, email firstname.lastname@example.org.