07/23/2015 02:03 EDT | Updated 07/23/2015 04:59 EDT

Cats Abandoned Inside Duct-Taped Bin In St. Albert

The cats were found panting and in distress.

Mission Ridge Animal Hospital

Two cats are lucky to be alive after they were discovered duct taped inside a bin behind an veterinary clinic Wednesday.

Staff at the Mission Ridge Animal Hospital in St. Albert, Alta. were alerted to the cats after a passerby noticed a plastic container in the alley, with a note attached to the top.

(A photo of the bin the cats were discovered in.)

(A note left on top of the bin, explaining why the cats had been abandoned.)

When staff brought the bin inside, they found a very old cat and a young cat panting inside.

"We’re just very fortunate that the gentleman found them when he did because I think if they had been left there any longer they wouldn’t have made it in the tub," clinic manager Debra Briton told CTV News.

(The older cat found inside the sealed bin.)

"The bin had no air holes, it was duct taped together, so there’s no way that the cats could have gotten out, which is really quite alarming," she explained in an interview with Global News.

The lengthy note attached to the bin started with "I'm so sorry," and explained why the owner could no longer care for the cats.

(The note found on top of the bin.)

According to the note, the owner had previously saved one of the cats from the trash, and the other was saved after its mother was hit by a car.

"I love both cats. I just can't love them in my new house. Didn't have time to find pet friendly place as my new baby is about be born [sic] and needed a place," the note concludes, before asking that the someone find homes for the cats.

A post to the clinic's Facebook page says one of the cats is 21 years old. The other cat is nine months old.

"We'd like to use this as an opportunity to advise everyone out there that this is not an appropriate way to fix a desperate situation. There are a lot of organizations out there that can help when times are tough and pets need to be re-homed," the clinic wrote.

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