BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A Branford man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly putting four newborn kittens in a dumpster, three of whom later died, the Branford Animal Control Department said.

The Branford Animal Control Department responded to a call on Aug. 15 from concerned residents that newborn kittens were crying inside a dumpster.

According to animal control officers, 30-year-old Denzel Hunter allegedly put four kittens inside a trash bag, which he then placed into a dumpster on Brushy Plain Road.

After arriving on the scene, animal control officers found four kittens at the bottom of a dumpster, next to a plastic garbage bag. The department said the kittens were soaking wet due to heavy rain.

Animal control officers said one kitten was pronounced dead on arrival, another was critically ill and struggling to breathe, and two were actively crying. All kittens were taken to the veterinarian, but only one kitten survived.

The kitten that was struggling to breathe died on the way to the veterinarian’s office, animal control officers said. Two weeks later, the third kitten, Sal, died of pneumonia.

The surviving kitten, Sabrina, has been reunited with its mother, Zoe, at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford. The two felines are in quarantine and not ready yet ready for adoption, according to the shelter.

Animal control officers said they had a lot of help from witnesses and people in the community and were able to track down the mother.

“We received information on where the mom cat might be, so we did go to that location and retrieve the mother as well within a few hours of getting the babies out,” said Laura Burban, the director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.

  • In the image, a small black kitten with brown eyes is pictured with an open paw.
  • A black cat, with a white chest, paws and spots on its head is shown in the image.

Branford police arrested and charged Hunter on Monday with two counts of cruelty to animals.

“[I’m] relieved when we find the people behind who are doing the bad things to animals because we want to hold them accountable and do the best we can to care for these babies while they’re in our care,” Burban said.

City officials said Hunter was an employee with the City of Bridgeport until Aug. 25.

He is being held on a court-set $25,000 bond and is expected to appear in court this week.