The RSPCA is appealing for information after four kittens aged just a day old were abandoned in a plastic bag in a country lane.
The kittens still had their umbilical cords attached when they were found, wriggling around inside a tied-up white carrier bag on a footpath near to Uppingham Road, Corby, last Wednesday (May 24).
They are now being hand-reared by the family who found them, with the assistance of the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Sheona Morley said: “It is clear that whoever dumped these kittens did so with the intention of leaving them to die.
“At such a young age, they are totally reliable on their mum and it is heartbreaking that they have been taken away from their mum at such a young and vulnerable age.
“It is very lucky that they were found.
“The family who found them are animal-lovers and they have taken the kittens on, hand-feeding them every two hours.
“Thankfully these kittens have now found a lovely home for life, but it could have ended so horribly different if they had not been found.
“We are urging anyone who has any information about who dumped these kittens to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”
The kittens are now being cared for by Samantha Walker and her family, who live in Corby.
They have been given the names Midnight, Hobo, Sprinkles and Jellybean.
Samantha said: “The kittens are doing extremely well so far - all four of them are strong.
“They are adorable and we now have three with their eyes open.
“We hadn’t planned on adopting another four cats all at once, but we plan on keeping them as we have invested so much into getting them to survive.
“I really hope someone comes forward with information as it is an absolute travesty that they were abandoned.”
The RSPCA is a charity which relies on public donations to exist.
To assist its inspectors in carrying out their work text HELP to 78866 to give £3.