Three kittens that nearly froze to death after being stuffed in sandwich bags and placed in a freezer are expected to survive their ordeal.
The three, rescued by sheriff's deputies, are now recovering in Largo at the SPCA Tampa Bay and are "doing fine," officials said.
The kittens have not yet been released for adoption, according to the SPCA.
A woman who was visiting a St. Petersburg home Sunday 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.
According to the SPCA, the six-week-old kittens are doing fine now and say that authorities reportedly got there just in time.
The kittens are not yet available for adoption, but the SPCA will post the special adoption process on its website when they are ready to be taken home. This includes a $10 non-refundable application fee, said Nora Hawkins of the SPCA.
The special adoption process was used for the adoption of Sox, a yorkie-poodle mix who was found last December with a rubber band around its muzzle. Sox was adopted by a Largo family out of a total of 25 special applications.
Rodney J. Blanchard, 49, of St. Petersburg, was arrested and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to animals and one count misdemeanor battery in connection to the case. The investigation is ongoing.