An Auckland cat charity is desperately seeking donations after two malnourished kittens fighting for their lives were found dumped on the side of a road.
Cat charity Lonely Miaow says the kittens were "incredibly malnourished and dehydrated", after being found last month in the suburb of Henderson, alongside some stolen items.
"The charity expects they had been dumped a number of days before being found."
One of the kittens, now named Gidget, is about half the size she should be, the charity says.
"At her lightest, Gidget was just 335g, she's now just over 440g - but should be at least 1kg by now," said a statement from the charity.
Lonely Miaow cat care manager Kella Sanford-Clark said Gidget's story isn't unique in Auckland.
"This time of year we are getting calls week-in/week-out about abandoned kittens being found in various states of distress.
"Our vision is for Auckland to be a city without uncared-for stray and abandoned cats.
"This suffering is unnecessary and avoidable," said Sanford-Clark.
A Givealittle page has been set up to support Gidget and the charity is desperately seeking donations. The page has so far raised $450.
In the meantime, pet owners are urged to "step up to the plate" and de-sex their animals.
Earlier this month, Radio New Zealand reported that it was expected thousands of abandoned kittens would be dumped throughout the summer.
"Often there's a really big surplus of kittens, and Christmas is a really good time to think 'oh, let's just give someone a kitten'," SPCA chief executive Midgen said.
"We would love people to donate to us to enable us to desex more, it costs somewhere between $150 and $200 to desex every kitten or cat we get across our door, but we have a really good process in place, so the more money we get, the more we can do," Midgen told RNZ.