TIGARD, Ore. Two cats rescued after they were left to suffocate in a Rubbermaid-like container in a dumpster at the Washington Square PetSmart Saturday morning are now available for adoption.

The cats are at the Cat Adoption Team facility in Sherwood. Employees said they prefer the cats be adopted into the same home.

Store employee Mike Meadows discovered the cats in a nearly-new, sealed blue plastic tub in the dumpster on top of trash. He said his mother taught him to always look in a closed container, if he found one after she saw a news story, years ago, about a baby found in a box.

I hopped into the trash can, which I was hesitant to do because it's a dirty can at a pet store. When I opened the tote, there were just these two cold, snuggling cats in there, Meadows said.

All it would have taken was a few more bags of garbage on top of the bin and the bin never would have been seen and we would not be looking at these cute cats right now, said Kathy Covey with the Cat Adoption Team.

One of the cats, Hazel, is a 1-year-old brown tabby that was thought be pregnant, but was not. The other is an orange tabby named Grace that is about 2 to 3 years old.

Anyone with information about who left the cats to die is urged to call authorities. Animal abandonment is against the law in Oregon and can be punishable by six months in jail and a $2,500 penalty.

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