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Nearly 30 sick cats and kittens abandoned in Warren were saved by the city's Animal Control department and an animal rescue group, officials said.

Now, police are looking for whoever dumped the animals.

"A detective has been assigned to the case," Warren Animal Control officer Nicole Fear said. "And whoever did could face animal cruelty and neglect charges."

Anyone with information about whoever dumped the felines should call the Animal Control at (586) 574-4806.

Fear said the cats and kittens were found in three different locations.

The first group of nine cats was found Friday morning at the city's Shaw Park near 9 Mile and Dequindre, she said.

Warren police received a call about the cats at the park and dispatched animal control. They were able to round them all up between Friday and Saturday, Fear said. 

Both the second and third clowders were found after animal control workers returned to work from the Memorial Day holiday.

A group of six cats was found behind a bowling alley on Ryan Road near 9 Mile and another group of 10 cats was picked up in an industrial area on College Park Drive, which is located off of Martin Road between Groesbeck Highway and Bunert Road.

"Luckily for the cats there, someone who had gone into a factory there saw them and left food and water on Saturday night," Fear said.

She said she expected to collect an additional cat from College Park Drive on Thursday.

"We're still rounding them up," she said.

The animal control officer also said she's certain all of the cats are related, based on their looks. "These are all exotic short-hairs and kind of Persian mixes," she said. "They have a very distinct look and that's how we know they're all the same type of cat."  

Fear said all of the cats and kittens they found were either dehydrated, starving or suffering from upper respiratory infections. Officials also found five dead cats among the three groups.

Some of the cats are recovering in an animal hospital while others are being cared for in foster homes, said Courtney Protz-Sanders, the executive director of Paws for Life Rescue. 

Based in Troy, the group is a non-profit that rescues homeless, neglected, abused and abandoned dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

Fear said dumping the cats where they were found was exceptionally cruel to the animals. She said a lot more of the cats would have died if it weren't for Good Samaritans who called police or Animal Control or left food and water for them.

"These are cats that aren't used to being outside," Fear said. "These are cats that definitely lived inside a house and have been socialized with other cats. They were left in an area they're not familiar with. That's the part that really bothers me."

Protz-Sanders agreed.

"It's one of the most cruel things whoever did this could have done," she said. "These are not cats who can fend for themselves. They're used to being taken care of and now they're outdoors and they have no idea where to look for water or food. That's on top of the fact, we've had the highest temperatures so far this year."

The cats range in ages from 8-week-old kittens to 6-year-old adults, Protz-Sanders said.

One of the cats that's been hospitalized is estimated to be a year old but only weighs two pounds or as much as an 8-week-old kitten, she said. 

The city of Warren and the group are covering the cost of veterinary care for the cats and kittens, but will likely need donations to help. Donations can be made to Paws for Life Rescue through its web site or its Facebook page.

Fear and Protz-Sanders also said anyone who has an unwanted pet should call their local Animal Control department or an animal rescue group instead of abandoning it.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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