Kittens freed after Problem Solvers uncover them trapped in Thornton U-Haul storage locker

THORNTON, Colo. -- A pair of kittens has been freed from a Thornton U-Haul storage locker after a neighbor reached out to the FOX31 Problem Solvers looking for help.

Mandy Swartz first discovered the kittens last week when a friend with a storage locker at the East 76th Avenue and York Street facility told her she heard the cries for help.

Video shows those cats inside the locked unit.

"I know they've been in there for at least two weeks," said Swartz. "It's been getting hotter and hotter, so now it's kind of a dire situation."

Swartz has been feeding the cats and bringing them water every night, but says U-Haul has been reluctant to open the unit for extended periods of time.

"Why are you so concerned about this person's property over a living thing? It doesn't make sense," she said.

FOX31 reached out to U-Haul, which sent the following statement Wednesday evening:

Our team was notified this week that some cats (or kittens) were spotted in or around one particular self-storage unit.  Despite multiple attempts, we were unable to make contact with the customer associated with the unit.  

In the meantime, we contacted animal protection and deferred to their recommendation and expertise on how to retrieve the animals.  The goal was to capture the cats without harm. The efforts of the agency have not been successful to this point.  Fortunately, we did get ahold of the customer just a short while ago, who says that the cats do not belong to them.  They have agreed –and are relieved- that we will be accessing the room to determine if there are any cats present.  If there are, we will proceed reasonably and humanely.

Keeping animals in a self-storage unit is a violation of the U-Haul rental agreement, not to mention reckless and inhumane.

Adams County Animal Control tells FOX31 it was able to gain access and release the cats Tuesday night. Attempts to catch them, however, were unsuccessful, and the cats are now loose in the area.

They're hoping to catch the cats and then put them up for adoption.

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