FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local animal refuge has filled all its cages and then some after an unexpected drop-off Tuesday night. Around two dozen animals were dumped at the shelter, leaving volunteers scrambling for space and help.

28/22 News Reporter Emily Allegrucci spoke with one of the workers about the incident.

Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge is now overflowing with cats and dogs. A volunteer says a black SUV abandoned the animals Tuesday night around 9:30 p.m.

The shelter has taken in the animals that they could find but could use a helping hand.

“Basically, a SUV drove down the road that’s connected to ours and threw at least 20 cats and a dog out,” said Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge volunteer Emma Ripka.

Over a dozen animals were dumped on Dixon Lane in Franklin Township Monday night. The property is adjacent to Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge.

Those at Blue Chip believe whoever abandoned the pets left them for the shelter to find.

“No one really thought anything of a car driving down the road until they saw all the eyes looking back at them. What do you really do in a situation like that?” Ripka asked.

And what they did was work fast, calling their volunteers who worked through the night to bring the animals to safety.

They managed to collect 18 cats and one senior dog they’ve dubbed, “Butternut”.

“It was very overwhelming and the smell was horrendous but we all kind of worked together as quickly as possible and we were able to get them all into cages and safely get them here. But we unfortunately do know that there is a bunch that are still out there,” Ripka explained.

The cats that are still on the loose are likely dehydrated, hungry, and facing brisk weather.

“The area they were dumped in is a very marshy area so the cats would easily get wet and being in freezing temperatures they could obviously freeze, there’s a lot of kittens,” Ripka added.

And the 18 they brought in have pushed the shelter to its limit.

“We have animals literally everywhere at this point. Cats are in the dog area, we’re making room in every single spot to try and fit everybody,” Ripka said.

Donations like the ones you see in the corner here are what allow Blue Chip to help the way that they do. And now that they are beyond max capacity, they could use all the help that they could get.

With the cost of care for Blue Chip’s newest members or senior residents, a dollar donation will go a long way.

“We only adopt cats out for $100 each and that includes all their medical which could be up to $400 per cat and we did confirm with the vet today that one of the cats will at least need a surgery to help save his ears,” Ripka stated.

Blue Chip tells 28/22 News the police are not actively involved at this time because they do not have enough information.

If anyone does know anything about who may have dumped the animals, they’re encouraged to contact the police.