The sad story of the three surviving kittens found in a St. Petersburg freezer begins in December. Fortunately, it has a happy ending.
A woman who was visiting a St. Petersburg home in early December reportedly found four kittens wrapped in sandwich bags in the freezer. Following an altercation with the homeowner, the woman went home and called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded and found three male, orange-and-white kittens "alive and meowing" but shivering and infested with fleas. A fourth was unresponsive and later died. The three surviving kittens were taken to Largo for medical care.
In high profile alleged animal cruelty cases, the SPCA Tampa Bay uses a special adoption process. Eight local families applied and underwent thorough screening, which included checks with local veterinarians, according to the SPCA.
Friday three families came to Largo to pick up their kittens.
The Hunsinger Family of St. Petersburg adopted Napoleon. Melissa Hunsinger e-mailed the SPCA immediately when she heard about the kittens on the news, she said.
"I felt really bad for the kittens. I wanted them to go to a good home," Hunsinger said.
Her nine-year-old son, Nason, was very excited.
"I feel great we could get a cat and help it live and get it to a better place," Nason said.
Nason had a plan to welcome Napoleon to his new home in St. Petersburg.
"I will show him where the kitchen is and where to eat. I will teach him not to drink out of the toilet," Nason said.
The Edwards Family of Dunedin adopted Sunkist who they plan to rename Frosty as a reminder of the kitten's experience.
"It was like my heart was broken when I learned about the kittens. I was devastated," said Wanda Edwards. "When I look into his eyes, I think how could anyone do this."
Frosty will be shared by Edwards' grandchildren Sybil, 6, and Grace, 4. This holiday season when Sybil sat on Santa's lap her Christmas wish was simply to have a cat, Edwards said.
"Sybil had no idea that she was getting her wish today of always wanting a kitten," wrote her dad Terry Nolan, of Palm Harbor, in an email.
The third cat, Clementine, was adopted by Andrew Parks of Tampa. Parks planned to get his kitten Friday after work, according to the SPCA Tampa Bay.