BENICIA, Calif. --Two little kittens used as bait for pit bull fighting were dropped off, barely alive, in Benicia, California. It was a scenario that even shocked the veterans of animal rescue.
"It's the first time I've seen our entire staff reduced to tears, everybody," said Pet Food Express store manager Leona Edejer.
Edejer said she has seen thousands of abandoned kittens before, but few like these. The two little tabbies that were dropped off in terrible shape on Oct. 13 were dubbed Will and Grace by her staff.
PHOTOS: Kittens used as pit bull fighting bait rescued
"Apparently these kittens were being used as pit bull bait," she said. "So the kittens had their legs bound with rubber bands because they want their dogs to learn to fight and kill, but not be damaged by the kittens. So the kittens have no way to protect themselves. So they can't run and they can't fight and they can't bite."
Both kittens had severe damage to their legs. Despite efforts to nurse them back to health, Grace didn't make it and had to be euthanized due to a severe gangrene infection.
"I've been in it for years and have never have seen anything like this," said Ruby Waderich with the nonprofit rescue group Solano County Friends of Animals.
She said what happened to Will and Grace was, unfortunately, not that rare.
"We've had them come in with bites and chews, but not with the feet the way they are," Waderich said.
Now the focus was on Will and his path to recovery.
While his future looks good, Edejer wanted to make sure people with unwanted animals understand what could happen if they ended up in the wrong hands.
"So for everybody who puts your free kittens on classified, or on Craigslist or online," she said. "Know where these kittens are going, where they're ending up."
The Solano County Animal Control Division was investigating the abuse and were trying to locate the woman who dropped off the kittens. Officials said they were attempting to uncover any illegal dog fighting rings in the area.
Anyone with information about the case or any case of animal cruelty was urged to call Solano Co. Animal Control at (707)784-4735.
Solano County Friends of Animals was also looking for donations to help pay for Will's treatment and care. To make a donation, go to the group's GoFundMe page, or mail contributions to P.O. Box 235, Benicia, 94510.
When he's healthy and strong in about two months, officials said Will would be available for adoption.