ROCKLAND, Maine — Six kittens tossed out like a piece of garbage and left for dead were found alone just feet away from a trash compactor in Rockland.

We don’t know exactly where their journey began but we do know their road to recovery started at the Transfer Station where a volunteer found them Wednesday morning.

The tiny kittens are safe and sound thanks to several people, but the good deeds started with Steven Gregoire.

“I grabbed a box and I grabbed some shirts because they looked cold,” Gregoire said. “They were so little and so small and so cute.”

Just like a piece of trash, Gregoire says someone dumped the kittens and left them behind an electrical panel.

“They just got away with it,” he said. “Shame on them.”

Gregoire couldn’t leave work, so Rockland resident Sharon Spaulding jumped in to help.

Spaulding says she cried the whole trip as she carted the kittens to the Knox County Humane Society.

“I can’t imagine how anyone in their heart of hearts could do that to a cat,” Spaulding said.

At the shelter, the kittens caught another break. Her name is Mittens.

Mittens was already at the Humane Society, a stray brought in Sunday with a gunshot wound.

“She had broken bones and had metal fragments in her paw,” said Tracy Sala, the Executive Director of the Knox County Humane Society.

Mittens gave birth to her own babies a few weeks ago, but quickly stepped in as a surrogate mother for the six new little ones.

“It all came together to make it a happy ending,” Sala said.

“I hope all the kittens, when they’re ready, will find a good home,” Spaulding said.

And it looks like one of them just might find a home with a familiar face.

“I’ve got to keep one, it’s just what I got to do,” Gregoire said smiling.

The six kittens will be ready for adoption in about eight weeks.

Gregoire says he’s already called the shelter to make sure he’s first in line.

Mittens will also be put up for adoption once her wound is healed.

Pets or strays should never be left to fend for themselves. They can be dropped off at any local shelter with no questions asked.

Sala says there are more than 200 animals ready for adoption just at the Knox Co. shelter.

She hopes people will take advantage of spay and neuter programs to stop the cycle of overpopulation.