Thirteen abandoned cats, some of them bagged in pillowcases and gunny sacks, were found Thursday by a Michigan couple as they ended their visit in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake County Animal Services officials said Shawn Draper and his girlfriend were in tears after stopping by Liberty Park and discovering the cats in boxes and cloth sacks.The seven kittens and six adult cats were divided among cardboard boxes and plastic pet carriers. The Michigan residents were leaving Tracy Aviary about noon Thursday and preparing to head to the airport when they noticed the boxes near the parking lot.
Inside the containers, they found the scared but healthy animals and took them to Animal Services.
"We would have taken them all home on the plane, but we didn't have time to get all their shots, and we didn't know if they might have owners looking for them," Draper said.
Animal Services officials suspect that the cats may have been stolen from a neighborhood, possibly in the Highland area, and abandoned in the park.
The cats all appear to have been cared for and some are spayed or neutered. It is possible they may have belonged to several different families, officials said.
Animal Services encourages any-one whose cat has been missing since Thursday to visit the shelter at 511 W. 3900 South to determine if their lost pet was among those found in the park.