Cat owners were shocked and disgusted after six little kittens and their mother were left dumped by the side of a busy road.
The animals were discovered in a box left to fend for themselves by a member of the public in Luffenham Road, near Ketton, on Tuesday.
Jess Green, manager of the nearby Keepers Cottage Day Nursery, was informed and ran out to rescue them.
By the time she had got to the scene, the kittens had escaped and had run under a shed in the nursery’s grounds.
Jess’ husband Lawrence managed to take the shed apart without harming the animals but both were angered by what had happened.
Lawrence, 28, said: “Someone has just stopped at the side of the road and dumped them.
“The mother was in some distress and they’ve clearly been very mistreated.”
The couple, who live in Beech Road, Oakham, have had the kittens checked over at Gibsons Veterinary Hospital in Oakham.
They had called the RSPCA to see if it would take the kittens but it was unable to due to an influx of unwanted cats. The cats have now been rehomed in Peterborough.
Cassandra and Rodney, who are pictured above, are two felines who are in the care of the Peterborough branch of the charity and are looking for new homes.
Anyone who can help can call 01733 222188.
Peterborough Cat Rescue also has unwanted felines looking for new owners. For details call 07502 134006.