Litter of kittens is abandoned outside pet store in Newry
Four kittens have been abandoned in a cardboard box near a busy road in Newry.
The litter was discovered by staff at Pet Connection outside their store on Dublin Road.
The seven-week-old animals are in reasonably good health despite suffering from worms, fleas and ear mites.
Pet Connection staff member Emma O'Hare (24) said: "It's a huge issue all over Northern Ireland and this is the second year in a row that we have had two sets of kittens left in a cardboard box in the car park.
"It's got to the point where staff are having to check three to four times a day, just in case a dog would get them or if they escaped and ran out into the road."
Pet Connection usually rehomes kittens as young as eight weeks. It also look after rabbits.
Emma stressed the importance of keeping kittens with their mother until around 12 weeks.
"I think a big message that needs to get out is that a cat can get pregnant from four months," she added.
"I recommend that people don't let their cats outside until they have been neutered.
"We're lucky at this time of the year because kitten season hasn't been too crazy so far." She added that it was safer for cats to stay indoors, and said it had close to 500 cats being reported missing in the last year.
If you are interested in adopting a kitten through Pet Connection's kitten rehoming scheme, contact 028 3083 4858.