By Oliver Farrimond
TWO tiny kittens have dodged death after being sniffed out by a plucky pooch.
The three-month-old kittens had been dumped in a cardboard box in a park near Blackridge Primary
School in West Lothian at around midnight on Sunday.
But after being discovered by the dog, the freezing felines are now under the care of the SSPCA.
Scottish SPCA ambulance driver Mairi Stewart was then contacted by the dog’s owner, and picked them up the next day.
Ms Stewart, 25, said: “”It was very lucky that a dog sniffed the kittens out, because if they had been left out there in the cold all night they could have died.
“The dog was a good dog and didn’t do anything, it was just sniffing.
“If a fox had spotted the kittens, they wouldn’t have been so lucky.”
The rescued kittens – named Mac and Don – are now being cared for at the SSPCA’s centre in Glasgow after a stay in the Animal Rescue and Re-Homing Centre in Balerno, near Edinburgh.
Languishing in temperatures of minus 5 degrees Celsius, it is likely the kittens, who are brothers, would have been in serious danger if left outside for much longer.
It is thought that they had been abandoned earlier that evening.
Miss Stewart added: “It is unlikely that they had been there for long because they are both a good weight and generally very healthy little kittens all round.
“It is likely that someone has taken them on and realised that they were more work than they thought, or they might have been going on holiday.
Cruel and callous
“Whatever the reason, they realised they couldn’t look after the kittens and they were dumped.
“Although Mac and Don have been well cared for up until now, it does not excuse the fact that they have been dumped and left to die.
“Not only is it a very cruel and callous thing to do, but it’s also a criminal offence.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence that carries penalties of up to a maximum of six months in prison, a £5,000 fine, or both.
People found guilty of the crime can also expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period, or even for life.
Anyone wishing to contact the Scottish SPCA can call their animal helpline on 03000 999 999.