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MICHIGAN CITY — On Friday morning, an animal shelter volunteer saw someone unload a box from their truck, jump back in the vehicle and speed away.

The volunteer opened the box, revealing 27 felines, including 22 kittens, Becky Blackmun, a veterinary assistant at the Michiana Humane Society, said.

After the cats were discovered, the volunteer took them into the Michigan City animal shelter, where some of them still remain.

Luckily, no injuries or fleas were detected, though two of the kittens had upper respiratory infection symptoms, she said. Their health has since improved and the two are now thriving. The cats were a mixture of patterns, including Opie, a young orange and white feline, and a sibling trio, Harrison, Ethan and Iggy, who are all brown with black and white markings.

“Right now, and always, we need Purina kitten chow and litter,” Blackmun said. “These are items we send home with our fosters and also use in-house so we go through them quickly. We are looking for foster homes. The best way to start that process is to stop by the shelter and complete an application.”

So far, 18 of the 27 have been temporarily adopted by foster owners, she said. The rest will make their way to the adoption floor soon, Blackmum said.    

The veterinary assistant said in the past the shelter has had 40 cats dropped off and animals regularly showing up at their doorstep without a human escort in sight.

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“We regularly are left animals — cats and dogs, even gerbils,” she said. “We take care of them and move on to the next. The very next day, we had another cat dropped at our door.  This week, we had another litter of eight kittens dropped here and that same evening another litter of five brought in. This is a continuous problem.”  

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While what the cats endured before they were dropped off in a box that morning remains unknown, the shelter's aim is to give them a better life going forward.

“Our focus remains on the animals and getting them the care and homes they deserve,” Blackmun said.

For more information on how to donate to the shelter or to become a foster parent, contact the Michiana Humane Society at 219-872-4499 or stop by at 722 Indiana 212, Michigan City.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.