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KITTANNING (KDKA) – Officials are asking for the public’s help after 17 cats were abandoned outside of an Armstrong County animal shelter in plastic containers.

The cats were left in two containers overnight outside of Orphans of the Storm in Kittanning. Seven were stuffed inside one, and 10 in another.

The first drop-off outside the door of the shelter was last week.

“I would say shame on you, shame on you,” said shelter manager Bethann Galbraith. “No holes, it was in a tote, that was last Friday. Those cats are lucky to be alive.”

The second drop off was on Monday.

“There was a tote with some bricks on top, and there were 10 cats,” Galbraith said.

(Photos Courtesy of Orphans of the Storm)

Both days, a worker spotted the containers as he arrived for work around 7:30 a.m. He initially thought someone had left donated food or supplies for the shelter.

“Some of them were ill, some are at the vets, others are being treated in house, not sick enough that they need hospitalized,” Galbraith said.

Galbraith says the cats, both male and female, appear to have been taken care of.

“Adult cats, cats that were socialized, were handled, not feral cats. They were not scarred, they did not strike out at us, so they were used to being handled and cared for. Some have been spayed and neutered,” she said.

The shelter is asking for help to identify the person(s) responsible. A reward of $500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

If convicted, the person responsible could face a $5,000 fine and two years in prison for each cat.

Meanwhile, the shelter, which is overrun with cats, is looking for people or other rescue organizations to foster the cats until space opens up at their facility.

Anyone with information, or wishing to foster a cat, can call 724-548-4520.