SALT LAKE COUNTY

Kitten found in sandwich container is improving

Dec 13, 2023, 9:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 12:35 pm

Athena, a 6-week-old Siamese kitten found stuffed into a sandwich-sized plastic container that was ...

Athena, a 6-week-old Siamese kitten found stuffed into a sandwich-sized plastic container that was duct-taped shut, is making remarkable progress, according to the veterinarian staff treating her. (Angel Paws Veterinary Services)

(Angel Paws Veterinary Services)

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A 6-week-old kitten found taped inside a sandwich container this week is making remarkable progress, according to the clinic treating her.

Monday, about 2 a.m., Cottonwood Heights police spotted two people believed to be illegally camping and slumped over inside their car, a police booking affidavit states. While questioning the two occupants, officers noticed they were covered in cat fur. The officers then heard a faint “meow” coming from the back of the car.

A kitten was found in the back, stuffed into a sandwich-sized plastic container that was duct taped shut, with its head poking out.

Officers gave the kitten water and took it to the police department for further care until it could be taken to a veterinary clinic for examination.

Angel Paws Veterinary Services, at 160 E. 4800 South, took the kitten in. Despite initially being in very poor condition, the medical staff now believes “Athena,” a 6-week-old Siamese, will make a mostly full recovery.

Athena, a 6-week-old Siamese kitten found stuffed into a sandwich-sized plastic container that was duct-taped shut, is making remarkable progress, according to the veterinarian staff treating her. (Angel Paws Veterinary Services)

According to the clinic, Athena was treated for head trauma, singed fur, bruising on her temple and an eye injury.

“She also tested positive for meth and amphetamine, according to preliminary results. The kitten, weighing only 1.24 lbs, was named Athena by clinic staff. She has been weaned off oxygen and is still receiving fluid support and medication to manage pain,” the clinic said in a prepared statement on Tuesday.

Clinic medical director Dr. Jessica Love, who has been providing treatment to Athena, said she wasn’t sure, at first, if the kitten would make it. On Wednesday, she said, she felt confident Athena would survive and have a good quality of life, despite a long road to recovery ahead of her. The biggest concern, she said, was both of Athena’s eyes. A long-term prognosis on how well Athena’s eyes will function won’t be known for awhile, Love said.

Whether Athena would be available for adoption at any time in the future was not immediately known. She is currently staying with a staff member of the clinic.

A message on the Angel Paws Facebook page, however, states, “If you, or someone you know would like to donate to Athena’s care, we would greatly appreciate your support.” Angel Paws only treats “homeless” animals, or those who come from shelters or rescue operations.

The post also reminds pet owners to spay and neuter their animals and not offer their offspring for no charge.

Justin Dale Epperson, 45, and Emily Maureen Allred, 41, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of torture of a companion animal and drug possession. Formal charges had not been filed as of midday Wednesday. Police noted in their affidavit that methamphetamine and fentanyl were also found in the vehicle and both Epperson and Allred have a history of drug-related crimes.

“They are repeat offenders and this time they are showing no regard to life by torturing a family pet,” the affidavit states.

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Kitten found in sandwich container is improving