PORTLAND -- The 6-week-old kitten that was rescued from a sealed bucket found in Southeast Portland has been placed in foster care as he continues his recovery.
The skinny kitten has an upper respiratory infection, but is slowly gaining weight. He can't be put up for adoption until he reaches a healthy three pounds, is over his cold and gets neutered, according to a spokesman with the Multnomah County Animal Shelter.
Photos: Rescued kitten in foster care
A staff member was providing the foster care because the shelter currently has a shortage of foster home volunteers. She decided to name him "Charlie Bucket," after the hero in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
A Gresham police officer found the five-gallon bucket, sealed shut with packing tape, last Friday, near the intersection of 187th and SE Stark. There were five kittens inside, but only one was alive. The surviving kitten was covered in fleas and feces.
“The others ones were deceased, and had been deceased for a while,” said veterinarian Trish London, with DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. “But he came just jumping out, full of life. The other ones had died and he wasn’t really even that sick. He just wanted out and wanted to live.”
The lone kitten was taken to DoveLewis for emergency care. Staff members said he was "highly affectionate" with a voracious appetite.
His condition was stabilized and on Monday he was transferred to the county shelter. Veterinarians predict that he will be ready for adoption in about three weeks.
“He’s much less congested, he’s eating well, he’s gained .2 pounds since he got here on Friday night,” London said.
Shelter officials were relieved that a staff member was able to foster the kitten, since their foster program has become limited.
Anyone interested in volunteering to be a foster parent for a shelter animal is urged to contact Multnomah County Animal Services. The shelter is trying to recruit volunteers.
"These are pets that need either a quiet place to recover from an injury or a little break from the stress of shelter life. You might be called upon to help with socialization or to give puppies and kittens a good start in preparation for their forever homes," an info. page on the shelter website explains.
More: Foster program FAQs
Also this month, a 10-week old kitten was found stuck in industrial-strength glue in a Salem parking garage and rescued. That kitten was taken to the Willamette Valley Animal Hospital in Keizer for treatment.
Veterinarian Laura Magruder spent 10 hours carefully pulling hair away from the tiny animal’s skin to remove the glue. The kitten is expected to recover and he already has a new home lined up, too.