Four tiny kittens were 'left for dead' after being abandoned in a field at just eight days old.
They were discovered frightened, severely dehydrated and covered in fly eggs after they were dumped during the recent heatwave.
They are now being taken care of by local charity Gables Dogs & Cats Home in Plymouth, which has been nursing them back to health.
The team said that residents were left 'horrified' to discover the owners had abandoned them before driving off with the kitten's mother.
Deputy manager, Ruth Rickard said: "As soon as we heard about these four little kittens we knew we had to help them.
"If these kittens had not been found they would have died a very horrible and painful death.
"They still have a long road ahead of them but now they are in experienced hands and have the best chance of surviving this horrendous and cruel ordeal."
The charity says it has cost them £800 for the specialist care the tiny kittens need to help them survive and find new homes.
They have set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to support them.