One kitten left Saturday at Animal House at the Midway Mall has died due to being underweight and having a low body temperature, but its littermates are all headed to new homes.
"People were lined up outside the store an hour before we even opened" Monday morning, according to store manager Marisa Lentz. "Our video shows as soon as gates were up, people were blowing right past."
Each of the six kittens is going to a different home, Lentz said, adding that the store is continuing to get calls today from people who saw the newspaper article and are interested in the kittens.
"It was just so beautiful" to see the interest, Lentz said.
On Saturday, a man with a large blue and green-striped American Greetings gift bag walked into the store and left about 30 seconds later — without the bag, which had seven kittens inside it.
According to Lentz, the store, which is run by animal rescue Ohio Pet Placement, must keep the kittens in its care for one week. So, while the kittens have all been spoken for, they won't be headed to their new homes until next Monday.
A newspaper story on the kittens did wonders, according to Lentz.
"Everyone who walks in the door asks 'Where are they?' " she said. "We're so grateful."
She just wishes she could drum up the same excitement for the rest of the animals in her care that are in need of homes.
"We have so many other animals," she said, including about 50 dogs and 15 cats and kittens.
Adoption fees — all of which go to pay the animals' vet bills — are $99 for kittens, $60 for adult cats, $250 for adult dogs and $400 for puppies, she said.
All of the animals are spayed or neutered, have their vaccinations updated, come with their shot records and receive a courtesy physical.
Ohio Pet Placement is always looking for volunteers, Lentz said, adding that the agency does its hiring from its volunteer base.
Volunteers can do anything from separating newspapers, loading food, feeding and watering the dogs and cats or just playing with the animals.
She explained that the animals are on a schedule for walks and exercise but that "any extra time out of their crate just to play" is even better for them.
Ohio Pet Placement is also always looking for donations, Lentz added. Money, of course, is welcome, but also old blankets or rugs can be used for the dog and cat cages.
People can adopt animals, make donations or sign up to volunteer at the store at Midway Mall or by calling 324-2474.
Lentz said Ohio Pet Placement has decided not to pursue charges against the man who abandoned the kittens.
"Financially it put us in a rut," she said, explaining that vet care for the litter cost $1,354 and adoption fees brought in just $594. "But in the end we're just glad they got the care they needed."