FORT STOCKTON, Texas — Mailboxes — as the name suggests– are typically for mail.
Unfortunately for this animal sanctuary in Fort Stockton, TX., they’ve received items that are much too cute to be put in a mailbox.
“And this kitten was put in our mailbox this morning,” Lucky Two Times Animal Sanctuary Executive Director Michael Luna said while holding Stinky. “At about 10 o’clock this morning when I came to check the mail, he was in there.”
A place no animal, let alone a newborn kitten, should ever be.
And this isn’t the first time Luna has opened his mailbox to an adorable but unexpected guest.
“So here lately, every month I’ve been getting them,” Luna said. “It’s been going on since inflation since people can’t afford to take care of animals. A lot of times we’ll get phone calls or people asking for help. And right now, with the overpopulation and lack of donations, it’s really hard for us to say yes. So lately, oftentimes, we’ve been finding them in the mailbox.”
Stinky was lucky enough to be relatively healthy when Luna found him.
But unfortunately, others haven’t been as lucky.
“We found one last week, or two weeks ago and the one that we tried to save passed away last week,” Luna said. “It’s either that [putting the kitten in the mailbox] or just leave them on the side of the road or somewhere you know, and so to help their conscience and help them feel better, they do it, but you know, they think we’re doing a good deed. When in fact, they’re not because the mailboxes get hot, they will die. There’s been times where I have gone over to the mailbox and I’ve had dead kittens in there.”
Not only will the lack of air space potentially harm the kitten, it’s also a federal crime.
“They shouldn’t do it anyway,” Luna said. “They should always hand an animal over to another person.”
But for every person who does a bad thing, there’s always another person, who’s doing a good thing.
“It’s sad and disheartening that this happens,” Luna said. “But how am I gonna say no, no to this?”
And there’s other options for people who think they can’t afford it.
“We have programs that help low-income families out to buy feed for their animals or dry cat food or dry dog food,” Luna said. “We have a pantry they can come up here and say ‘hey, I need cat food’. We’ll help them out. We have no problem with if that’s gonna help you keep your animal and keep you from dumping it. Reach out to us. That’s what we’re here for.”
Not only is this sanctuary helping the people and kittens out, they’re helping other animals out too, as the sanctuary helps out animals with pending court cases. From dogs to cats to horses to ducks.
And they can’t do this alone.
“The main thing that we need is funding,” Luna said. “[…]so that we can grow, and we can help provide resources for the community to prevent stuff like this from happening. Mainly this is happening because we don’t have resources to provide. If people could get their animals fixed, if people would get their animals vaccinated. Like we’re going to advocate and provide that service for them then it would be so much better for them because I think a lot of this is going on because people feel they have no choice.”
But they do have a choice, and it’s a choice that could land you one of the most adorable kittens you’ll ever see.
Because Stinky — along with his siblings who were found later — have their whole lives to live.
And no amount of that life should ever be spent in a mailbox.