MAKAKILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — A total of 10 kittens in a single box was what was turned over to the non-profit Rescue Kitties of Hawaii on Saturday, April 29 after they were found deserted on Sand Island.

The kittens have yet to even open their eyes.

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Maraya Dawn — president of Rescue Kitties of Hawaii — was not expecting the phone call she received Saturday morning. Someone found a box with 10 kittens at a Sand Island tow yard and wanted to turn them in.

“I went, ’10?!’ Because we just pulled in probably 18 in the past 24 hours, not in one litter. 10 is a lot. I mean, obviously, look at there’s all of us here trying to just do the first feeding,” Dawn said. “And it’s pretty clear that these babies were just ripped from the mom because, I mean, the mom hasn’t even had a chance to clean them and the umbilical cords look like they’ve been cut off.”

She is working with another cat rescue to bottle feed the little ones and one experienced good Samaritan is taking four.

“And since I do bottle-feed newborns, she sent it to me and asked if I could help and I immediately said, ‘Yes! Please let them know that I’m available to help,'” said Maleeyah Machado.

“Making sure they stay warm because at that young age, they can’t regulate their own body heat yet, so keeping them warm and fed every two hours around the clock for the first few weeks, and then that can extend to every three to four hours,” Machado said.

It is not a task for everyone — Dawn said holding the kittens on their back or pushing the formula out too fast could cause them to aspirate.

“And if you don’t know how, call a rescue or go to Hawaiian Humane Society, don’t try to do it yourself unless you now what you’re doing,” Dawn said.

The humane society said animal abandonment is a misdemeanor in Hawaii and can carry up to $1,000 in fines. Each deserted animal constitutes a separate offense, so the individual who left these 10 cats would be charged with multiple misdemeanors if they are identified.

In the meantime, a GoFundMe was set up for the kittens and Rescue Kitties of Hawaii highlighted the silver lining in their story.

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“It’s also beautiful on the flip side that somebody saw them, found them and had the sense to call a rescue,” said Dawn. “So as much as we see evil, we also see the beautiful side, they’re safe and loved.”