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DULUTH, Ga. -- A 6-week-old kitten was on its way to emergency surgery Wednesday when the car it was being transported in was stolen.

The animal was being taken to a vet in Duluth for an eye removal after a bad infection had caused the eye to rupture.

"The kitten,why would they take the kitten," said the kitten's transporter Julie Kilmurry.

Kilmurry called Dunwoody Police after she made a brief stop near Perimeter Mall, where she was to meet another volunteer transport who would take the cat to the vet. Kilmurry left the car locked with the engine running, The kitten was in a kennel on the front seat.

"I was there 10 minutes -- 12 at the most -- came out and the car was gone," said Kilmurry.

The car was gone and so was the kitten, who is in desperate need of medical attention. An OnStar device in the car helped police disable the vehicle and found it parked in a Southwest Atlanta apartment complex. The door handle to the SUV had been pried open and the glove box cleaned out.

"It's heartbreaking that someone would do this and they got nothing," said Kilmurry.

Volunteers are trying to remain hopeful but know that it's likely the kennel was tossed from the car. They scanned the side of the highway, knowing the animal has limited time to survive.

"Not long in this heat, those kennels are plastic and they heat up really fast, I'm hoping it burst open and it got out," said Elizabeth Burgner of Planned Pethood who was scheduled to take the animal in for surgery. It would have been completed at no cost.

The staff at the clinic remains hopeful that it's somehow still alive.

"It was already in pain, it already had a really bad day and now who knows where it is," said Burgner.

Anyone with information on the kitten is asked to call Planned Pethood in Duluth at (678) 561-3491.

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