Through the kindness of a stranger, two abandoned kittens found in Finley near Two Rivers Park recently were saved from becoming coyote bait.
The story of their rescue, however, turned bittersweet when one of the malnourished 7-week-olds had to be put down because an eye infection ruptured the female's corneas.
Her brother is doing well under the care of Dr. Jim Benson at Desert Veterinary Clinic in Richland and has found a home with the Bounsall family of Burbank.
Larissa Bounsall, 9, and her siblings, Janeena, 7, and Lucas, 10, all of Burbank, adopted the kitten on Saturday to be a companion to a kitten they got two weeks ago, Cheddar. They named him Oreo and they got him after reading about him in the Tri-City Herald. The children's parents are John and Laura Bounsall of Burbank.
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Kate Carter found the two kittens on a road near her home in Finley.
"She slowed her car when she spotted (the male) playing in the middle of the road. She collected him then noticed his sister huddled by a alfalfa field near the road," said Lori Pappas-Sauressig, who works with Carter at Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties in Kennewick.
"She wasn't moving, but that is most likely due to the fact her eyes were sealed shut from the infection."
Carter said she found the kittens Oct. 6 and took them to Pappas-Sauressig the next day because she knew her friend had a history of rescuing and rehabilitating homeless pets.
"I know those babies had to have been dropped off that day, otherwise they would have already been dead," Carter said. "I see older cats running across the road between the two alfalfa fields out here all the time, but this was the first time I saw such tiny babies. I couldn't just leave them there."
Carter already had three cats of her own and knew she couldn't keep the kittens, so she called Pappas-Sauressig who took them to Benson who treated the homeless kittens for a reduced fee.
"Dr. Benson was optimistic about the little boy, noting that only one of his eyes looked slightly infected," she said. "Unfortunately, his sister had a fever as well as the ruptured corneas. She was in pain for sure. Putting her to sleep broke my heart but it was the most humane thing for her."
Pappas-Sauressig, tears spilling down her cheeks, held the female while the vet administered the injection.
"I wanted her to know that someone did indeed care for her and that even though she was alone and had to fend for herself during her short life, she did not have to die alone," she said.
Anyone interested in adopting the kitten can call Pappas-Sauressig at 430-3434.
If you find an abandoned animal there are many agencies in the area who can help. Pet Over Population Prevention (POPP) or Tri-City Animal Control can help with animal rescue. Neither agency charges for helping rescue homeless animals.
Animal Control is at 1312 S. 18th Ave., Pasco, and the phone number is 545-3740. The POPP facility is at 524B Warehouse St., Richland, and the phone number is 943-4722. Callers are encouraged to leave a message at either agency.
Prevent Homeless Pets can also aid in helping people with spay and neuter fees for family pets as well as abandoned ones. For more information about PHP, call Harriet Johnson via web site www.preventhomelesspets.com or call 375-4024.