Finding 31 cats & kittens in a box

By CJ Cassidy
PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - "31 cats left to die" on the side of a road.

A young man who came across those cats and kittens sealed up in cardboard boxes on a Perry County, Missouri road is now being called a hero.

They are doing remarkably well considering they spent several hours locked up in boxes without food or water.

Now volunteers hope to place the animals so they can have a happy ending to this rescue "tail."

Josh Pohlmann hopes it's a sight he never sees again. Six boxes of cats and kittens, all anxious to get out of their potential death traps.

Pohlmann and a friend loaded them onto a volunteer rescue worker's vehicle.

Did he think the cats and kittens would have died if he hadn't come by? "Yes," he answers, "because they were baking in the sun when we got there."

Pohlmann says he didn't stop when he first saw the six boxes on the side of the road in Perry County.  But then he came back to check.

"I thought about it a little longer when I got home, and I noticed they had holes in the sides, so I just stopped by to see if there was anything."

Volunteer Claire Schemel says it's nice to know there are people like Pohlmann out there, to make up for those who dumped the cats in the first place.

"They just wanted to get rid of them. It was not their responsibility as far as they thought. It just makes me sick there's people like that out there in the world," she says.

The cats and kittens are now at Debi Baker's Rainbow Ranch near Potosi, Missouri.

Baker feeds the tiniest kittens milk out of syringes and says she plans on taking them to a vet next.

"It's very upsetting. This group called several people, and I'm the only one who said yes. I'm not sure if that makes me a winner or a loser. These are lives, souls, they all have personalities - even the teeniest one," she says.

Back to Josh Pohlmann, he adopted one of the kittens he helped rescue.

He hopes whoever dumped the furry felines does not get away.

"There are a lot of other options. You can take them to a humane society or give them away," he says.

Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf says dumping animals is a crime, and asks you to call his office at (573) 547-4576 if you have any information that might help investigators find the former owner of those cats.

In the meantime, if you are interested in adopting one of the 31 cats or kittens, simply call Debi Baker at (636) 274-3385. You can also check out the Rainbow Ranch for more information at rainbowranch@earthlink.net

You can also get additional information from the initial rescue group - PAWS at (573) 547-6057.

Anyone wanting to adopt the cats can call 573-768-2339.