A representative of the Humane Society Waterville Area bathes one of seven cats who survived after being abandoned in a locked storage container for 17 days. Credit: Lauren Kennedy | HSWA

Seven cats that survived after spending 17 days locked in a storage container are available for adoption in Waterville, the local shelter announced.

The Humane Society Waterville Area was alerted by an area animal control officer about 12 cats abandoned in a nearby container unit on Oct. 5, according to a Friday news release by the shelter.

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The cats were trapped in three plastic dog crates for “nearly three weeks without food, water or litter,” the shelter release continues, in part. Five of those cats ultimately died — three were found dead and two others later died as a result of their conditions after they were rescued.

The surviving seven cats were rehabilitated by shelter representatives, but given their circumstances, will be adopted out only under special guidelines, the executive director said.

Credit: Lauren Kennedy | HSWA

“We will be accepting adoption applications for Felicity and Boone as a bonded pair, Felix and Emmeline as a bonded pair, and Flick on his own,” said Humane Society Waterville Area Executive Director Lisa Oakes. “We want to make sure they continue to receive the exceptional care and attention we have shown them. … One stipulation of adopting these cats is that we receive updates from their new families every six months for the next two years.”

Oakes said the organization plans to choose new families for the cats by Nov. 28. She also said the shelter is raising funds to, in part, cover the medical costs of the cats, and that “several sponsors” are considering matching donations that come in.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.