19 kittens, cats left abandoned on side of Florida highway

Over a dozen cats were discovered abandoned on the side of a Florida highway on Jan. 12 among a small shrubbery, animal rescue officials said. 

The St. Francis Society Animal Rescue said they received two separate reports of cats being abandoned at an I-75 exit. When they arrived, they found nearly 20 abandoned cats and kittens spread throughout a small island of shrubbery "surrounded by cars traveling 80mph."

One cat had died and was laying on the side of the highway. 

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Credit: St. Francis Society Animal Rescue

On Jan. 13 and 14, animal rescue officials said they worked to capture the cats and kittens. The cats were all starving, and cold and some had medical issues.

"The abandonment of pets is cruel and ILLEGAL! We are asking that anyone with information on who these cats might belong to please message us immediately. We must work together as a community to help provide a voice to the voiceless and stop the suffering," said St. Francis Society Animal Rescue. 

The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center also assisted with the rescue.