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Four tiny kittens were abandoned down a country lane during Friday's 35-degree heatwave, the RSPCA have said.
The kittens are thought to have been thrown out of a car in Curtis Mill Lane, Romford.
RSPCA staff responded to a call from police after a black and cream cat carrier was spotted dumped in the area, and later discovered the kittens at the scene.
By the time the foursome were rescued, temperatures had soared to 35C and the kittens could easily have died of heatstroke.
Animal Welfare Officer Siobhan Trinnaman said: "I am appalled that these kittens have been deliberately abandoned, especially as it was 35 degrees where I picked them up.
"We are just grateful that they were found when they were and that the caller waited with them.
"The kittens could have easily died in this box in this heat, the poor things."
Aged around 12 weeks old, the four kittens - made up of three girls and one boy - are a mix of white and tabby colouring.
All four had clearly been neglected and were found with weeping eyes and skeletal bodies.
Siobhan continued: "The poor little mites, they were so thin their spines were prominent and they are full of flu and all had sticky gunky eyes, so I took them straight to the RSPCA Harmsworth Memorial Animal Hospital where they will be kept in isolation while they are treated.
"They are very poorly and we just hope they are strong enough to pull through."
Luckily, the kittens are now receiving some much-needed TLC from animal welfare officers.
The RSPCA has appealed for information relating to the incident and advises anyone who may know who owns the kittens, or has any information in regards to the incident, to call the charity's appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
We hope all four kittens go to the loving homes they deserve.
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