LODI -- A Lodi couple was cleaning out their home while getting ready to move when they took a large load of junk to their local waste transfer facility.
That's where something caught Susan Hitchcock's eye in a pile of straw.
"Spread eagle was this little tiny kitten that wasn't moving or anything," she told FOX40. "I just was so shocked. I said, 'That's a cat.'"
Susan and her husband, Jerry, investigated further and found two more kittens among the trash.
"And even the workers there said, 'They're going to die if they don't have their mother,'" Susan Hitchcock said. "It was like, 'No, they're not.' Not on my watch, right Jerry?"
"I knew that we were not going to leave those cats there," Jerry Hitchcock said.
So they took them home, even though Susan is allergic to cats, and reached out on social media.
"Dumping kittens at the dump is not an option, ever," Susan Hitchcock said.
From there, they were put in touch with Cheryl Zuniga of Second Chance Kitty, a Stockton-based rescue organization that fosters abused animals and adopts them out.
Zuniga said, sadly, cases like this are not rare.
"People are always finding cats in boxes, at a store. Like in a parking lot in a shopping cart. Plastic bags thrown away like trash," she said. "The hardest thing about all this is that this is completely preventable."
But this story has a wonderful outcome.
The three kittens, Cambi, Chucky and Jason, were placed in foster care with volunteer Edith Dempsey. She's making sure they'll be more than ready for their forever homes.
"They're just so sweet and lovable," Dempsey said. "They just get all kinds of kisses and loves."
If you'd like more information about Second Chance Kitty you can visit their website.