On Monday morning, as Tami Williams was driving out of her neighborhood on Sheehy Road in Nipomo, she noticed a plastic bin tipped on its side with cat food spilled around it on the ground.
"I looked down and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but there were four small kittens all nestled together still inside the tub," Williams said.
Two of the kittens didn't even have their eyes open yet. Williams says it was a cool morning when she found the kittens and they were okay, but experts say leaving an animal outside in the summer heat can be deadly.
"They can overheat and dehydrate and die really quickly," said Elaine Genasci, co-founder of The Feline Network of the Central Coast.
As soon as she found the kittens, Williams called The Feline Network.
"I'm so glad that I found them and I was able to get them help right away. It makes me so sad that people don't know their options," Williams said.
Genasci says financial pressures could be driving some people to surrender their animals.
"I think that people are in a place where they can't afford to either feed them, or they can't afford to get them spayed or neutered," Genasci said.
Genasci suspects vet bills and surrender fees at humane organizations are both contributing to the financial strain caused by animals, ultimately leading to abandonment.
"There's always something better you can do. I can't even imagine the level of desperation somebody would feel to have to do that," Williams said.
Animal Control encourages anyone who finds a sick or injured animal to take advantage of the humane resources in the community such as veterinary offices, the department of animal services and for cats and kittens, The Feline Network. If you are looking to surrender an animal, call your local animal service provider or local humane society to discuss surrender options.
"If you drop them off somewhere, call somewhere, you don't have to pay somebody to take them. You can just drop them off, without questions asked and I think more people need to know about that," Williams said.
The kittens discovered by Tami Williams are now being fostered through The Feline Network of the Central Coast. They are clean, healthy, growing, and together.
The Feline Network operates on volunteers and donations and they have many kittens that are looking for a home right now.