The SPCA is asking for the public's help after six three-week-old kittens were found dumped in Whanganui East.
SPCA Wanganui manager Francie Flis said a member of the public alerted the organisation around 11am on Friday, after finding the kittens in a wet cat bed, with half a cooked chicken, in a car park at the Whanganui East shopping centre.
"Their eyes are open, but they would have been unable to climb out of the cat bed. If they'd stayed there overnight, they would have died," Ms Flis said.
She said the kittens were far too young to be taken off their mother, and dumping them was a crime under the animal welfare act.
"I asked the surrounding businesses and passersby if anyone had seen someone leave the kittens or if they saw the vehicle, but unfortunately we have had no luck."
The kittens were taken to the SPCA. Still too young to eat solids, they are being cared for by a nursing female cat and are recovering well. Ms Flis said they will most likely be sent to foster homes next week, and would be ready for adoption in four to five weeks.
"We're really pleased they're doing so well - it's the one nice thing to have come out of this situation," she said.
Ms Flis said she thought kitten dumping was most likely not uncommon in Whanganui.
"What's unusual about this situation is that the kittens are so young, and they were dumped in a public place. It probably happens all the time but we don't hear about it because the kittens die."
Ms Flis urged anyone with information to come forward.
+If you have any information about these kittens, please contact the SPCA on 345 3369.