SMYTH COUNTY, Va. -

Eighteen kittens, who were left to die on Pugh Mountain Saturday, are now safe at the Smyth County Animal Shelter.

Animal control responded to a call at 1:00pm Saturday. An elderly man was walking on a trail and found 18 kittens left in a box on the side of the road.

The kittens are six weeks old. They were found in a cardboard box with a cushion as a cover.

Kristy Moore was the responding officer, she says it looked like the kittens were left to die.

"They did not have any food, water, no kind of air, or holes poked in the box," said Moore. "It did have a lid and it was tied up with string."

The kittens are healthy and ready for adoption. They will be available on June 27th once they reach seven weeks old.