THESE four kittens were left to die in remote Sheffield woodland after being stuffed into a cardboard box and dumped.
But the kittens and their mother - trapped inside the box which had been sealed with tape - were discovered over Christmas by a passing dog walker.
The man found the cats in a wooded area near Frecheville and took them home.
He alerted Sheffield Cats Shelter after becoming increasingly concerned over their health.
Kim Steele, cat care manger at the shelter on Travis Place Broomhill, condemned the cruel owner.
She said: “When the cats arrived, they were very frightened and starving.
“It’s so cruel to abandon animals in this way, and this case highlights the problems we have with irresponsible pet owners.
“Without rescue charities such as ours, these animals would have no chance of survival.”
Volunteers at the shelter have named the mum Mittens and her kittens Stockings, Ivy, Holly and Tinsel.
They are now being cared for and nurtured back to health by the staff at the shelter.
The cats will eventually be looking for new homes but only after they have fully regained their health, been neutered and vaccinated and given the all-clear by a vet.
As well as looking for potential adopters, the shelter has issued an appeal for people willing to provide a temporary foster home for cats in need of temporary or special care.
Under the scheme, the shelter will meet the cost of all medical treatment until the cat is re-homed on a permanent basis.
n Anyone interested in adopting or fostering a cat or can help the Shelter, please call 0114 272 4441 between 1.30 pm and 3.30pm.