PORTLAND - The owner of three kittens that witnesses said were thrown from a vehicle has come forward to say it was likely a bizarre accident.
Thursday morning, drivers stopped to help gather the kittens after witnesses said the animals were tossed from a minivan driving down North Peninsular Avenue and Willis Boulevard. One of the kittens was severely injured and had to be euthanized. Two other kittens were taken to the Oregon Humane Society where they are receiving care and recovering.
On Friday, while KGW was at the Humane Society, a woman arrived and told KGW she owned the kittens.
Theresa Burson, of North Portland, told reporter Katherine Cook she had four kittens that went missing on Thursday. Then she saw the story that night on KGW-TV and was certain the kittens were hers.
Burson said she believes the kittens crawled into the undercarriage of her husband's van, and he didn't know they were there Thursday morning when he drove to Vancouver to his workplace.
Burson and her husband live in the area where three of the four kittens were found.
Burson said it all made sense when she saw the kittens on KGW-TV Thursday night.
“I was asking my husband where the kittens were and he said, ‘Look, look, those are the cats on the TV,’” Burson said.
Friday morning, a co-worker of her husband found the fourth kitten in Vancouver near their workplace and took it home. Burson figures the fourth kitten somehow managed to make it all the way to Vancouver under her husband’s van.
“I think it's great that she came forward,” said Allen Zaugg with the Oregon Humane Society. “And she is talking to us and is willing to explain what happened.”
Humane Society officials interviewed both Burson and her husband, but said they could not comment on the case because the investigation was ongoing.
On Thursday, Pyper McFarland, who rescued one of the kittens, had told KGW: “I noticed it started raining kittens out of a car which is not a good thing...next thing I saw another one drop and flop out and I swerved to miss that one, and then I slammed on my brakes cause then I saw another one coming."
Anyone with information in the case was asked to call the Oregon Humane Society at (503) 802-6707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.