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Rescuer: 'Free Kittens' Ending Up As Snake Food

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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX)-- A local animal rescue organization is getting reports of people taking free kittens that have been advertised on social media and using them as food instead of as pets.

The "free kittens" advertisements are all over social media and for sale sites. Many of the posts include a line that rescuers said might have good intentions but could be deadly: "kittens free to a good home."

"You never know what you're turning them over to," Laura Bamberger, founder of the Tri-State Noah Project, said.

Bamberger said that they are getting more and more reports of people taking free kittens that are intended to be pets and using them as snake food.
She said that the reports have come from different places in the Tri-State including Covington, Hamilton and Middletown.

According to Bamberger, people often lie about their plans when they take the kittens in.

"If people are giving away an animal as a domestic, as a pet, that's what they expect," Bamberger said. "They want it to go to a loving home, not to be used as food or as bait."

In some cases, Bamberger said that people are going as far as recording video or snapping photos of the young cats in their final moments.

"I've had some people reach out and say, 'I think that was my kitten in the video,'" Bamberger said.  "When you see the look on the kitten's face, their expression, it is heartbreaking."

Before the kittens come face to face with the snakes, Bamberger said they are often mistreated by their new owners.

"They will break their teeth," Bamberger said. "They'll snap off their claws, that prevents the snake from getting hurt."

Bamberger believes anyone who has a snake knows there are many options for meals that don't involve someone's intended pet.

Her main point is that if you want to ensure your adoptable animals will live a happy, full life, you should never give them away for free.

"When you put that up there for them, you're making it ten times easier for them to do this," Bamberger said.

Bamberger said if you have kittens that you would like to adopt out, the best thing you can do is reach out to a rescue. They could take the cats in or could offer advice and help.

She suggests always asking for a fee for an animal and said you should check into the potential owner's background.

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