Five homeless kittens have been found in a cardboard box with one almost completely bald from ringworm as animal charities warn of an increase in abandoned pets as people return to the office.

The kittens were brought into the Blue Cross in Burford by a member of the public who found them when they were about eight weeks old.

They have been named after characters in the 1988 film The Land Before Time, Petrie, Ducky, Littlefoot, Spike and Cera, and are now 17 weeks old and recovering in the charity’s rehoming centre.

Witney Gazette:


Ducky on arrival

Jade Griffiths, animal welfare assistant, said: “The kittens were in poor shape and would likely have perished if they hadn’t been found. All of them were missing some fur, some had sore patches and one was completely bald with dry cracked skin.

“When I first saw these guys, it really was heartbreaking because they were so scared, so small and so unwell.

“We named them after characters from The Land Before Time because the movie is about a group of young dinosaurs who had to overcome great obstacles and lots of change in their young lives, which really resonated with what these lovely kittens have been through.”

Their arrival comes just weeks after two kittens were found dumped in a lay-by regularly used for flytipping in a taped-up box.

The four-week-olds, named Bumble and Pip, were found by a member of the public luckily unharmed.

Animal charities have some concerns about animal welfare after a total of 3.2 million households in the UK acquired a pet during the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association.

Witney Gazette: Ducky

Ducky now

Hannah Wiltshire, Assistant Manager at Blue Cross in Burford, said: “As always it’s been a busy kitten season with my teams called on to help more than 40 stray and abandoned kittens since May.

“Fortunately we haven’t seen any more pets than we would normally at this time of year and as always we would urge owners to get their cats neutered to prevent unwanted litters. However we are concerned that we may see more pets and owners needing our help as people return to offices.

“We’d urge anyone struggling with a pet for whatever reason to get in touch so we can provide help and support.”

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said:“We fear the combination of a surge in spur-of-the-moment pet ownership during the pandemic, the change in people's circumstances as some normality continues to return, and the economic impacts of the pandemic, could all be a 'perfect storm' for more abandonments.”

She said it was to early to draw conclusions, “however, we remain on high alert for a potential surge in abandonments and continue to urge anyone struggling with the realities of pet ownership to seek help.”

For more information or to see animals looking for homes, including the Land Before Time kittens, visit