The Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS) said the cats were found frozen to death in two boxes left outside the ambulatory surgery center Monday morning.
An OAHS spokesperson said in a Facebook post on Monday: “We are in shock and disbelief that these poor creatures died huddled together in the cold, everything trying to stay warm, and they didn’t have blankets or any kind of insulation in the boxes to help.
“It’s unacceptable. Most likely the person who did it thought he was at OAHS. They probably thought the staff would arrive in enough time to help them. It doesn’t really matter because seven lives are gone now.”
According to Global Weather, temperatures in Oshkosh on the morning of November 21 were as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit but felt as low as 21 degrees.
Pet and animal information site Animal Wised said cats can freeze to death if their body temperature drops below 60 degrees due to hypothermia.
“Once it’s 32 degrees or lower outside, we’ll need to make sure our cat doesn’t stay outside for more than 15 to 20 minutes,” Animal Wise added.
The OAHS post continued: “We understand that people need help with their animals. We understand that there are limited veterinary and shelter resources. Every clinic and animal care facility is understaffed.
“That is a fact. But giving away animals without at least making sure they are seen or picked up is not acceptable. Check the address you are leaving from. We have clear signage in front of the building.
“Provide anonymous advice to law enforcement so we can be contacted. If you are in a crisis situation and do not want your identity to be revealed, there are ways you can ensure the safety of animals.
“This didn’t have to happen. Honestly, the cats would have had a better chance if they had just been released than trapped in a cold cage to freeze to death. Please extend kindness to the Ambulatory Surgery Center staff and our staff who are dealing with this tragedy.” .
The spokesperson said its staff is in contact with local law enforcement.
Jessica Miller, executive director of OAHS, told ABC affiliate WBAY that there has been a sharp rise in animals being abandoned.
“Since the beginning of January, we’ve seen a 500 percent increase in abandonments and a 700 percent increase in foreclosure as a result of abandonment or neglect,” she added.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters across the country each year.
Of those, the association added, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. We estimate that the number of dogs and cats entering US shelters annually has decreased from about 7.2 million in 2011.
Newsweek Contact the OAHS and Oshkosh Police Department for comment.
Last summer, a group of five kittens who were “left to die” were rescued in a roadside crate in the sweltering heat.
Linds, a TikTok user, explained in a Sept. 25 video that she got a call from a family member who found a box of kittens on the side of the road.
She wrote: “Five cats left to die in record heat.” The clips showed the black cats all cramped into one box with a hole cut through the top on a day when Linds estimated the temperature was around 95 degrees.
Linds later added: “All the local shelters are full so we’ll take care of them until we can find them homes.”
The TikTok user, who has raised cats before, took the cats home, gave them food and water and showed videos of them drinking from their water bowls.