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5 kittens abandoned in shopping cart outside dollar store, left only with pizza crust

"They were dirty and they had fleas," Kohnke said. "They were crying, left in a bucket with pizza crust."

MUSKEGON, Mich. — It was a crazy 24 hours for Lakeshore resident Amanda Kohnke.

"Why would somebody do this?" she asked. "It's hard not to be angry over this." 

Just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, Kohnke got a call from Diane Valk, president of Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven, asking for her help. Valk told her there were kittens left in a shopping cart outside of the Dollar Tree on East Sherman Boulevard. 

Amanda Kohnke is a volunteer foster parent for animals that come to Heaven Can Wait. She lives in Grand Haven, but immediately went to get the kittens as soon as she got the call. A lot of thoughts ran through her mind. 

"What condition are they in?" she remembered thinking. "How old are they and like, what do I need to do to get ready for them."

The five kittens were discovered by a store employee, who called Muskegon County Dispatch. Dispatch called Valk with Heaven Can Wait.

"They were dirty and they had fleas," Kohnke said. "They were crying, left in a bucket with pizza crust."

Amanda took the kittens home because they're too young to be adopted, but they are already doing much better in her care. 

"The smallest of all of them was pretty lifeless," Kohnke said. "I thought...I don't know if she's even going to make it through the night."

She said she's upset by the situation because "there's so many resources with all of the different rescues that are out there. Someone is always willing to help."

Someone like Valk and Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven.

"In desperate times people do desperate things," said Valk. "That's our job to run and come help these animals when they're left behind."

Valk said that with volunteers like Kohnke, Heaven Can Wait can continue helping animals, and they don't plan on stopping anytime soon. 

"There will be more," Valk said, "and our job is to always be prepared. And that was last night."

Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven relies on volunteers, foster families and donations. They hold adoption events on most weekends as well. To learn more about their organization, events and how you can get involved, click here.

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