VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- The search is on for whoever threw kittens out onto a Volusia County highway.

  • Kittens seen thrown from vehicle Tuesday in Volusia County
  • Southeast Volusia Humane Society: 8 incidents in the past month
  • Humane Society offering $1,600 reward for info

It's an issue animal rescue advocates say they're seeing more of.

Jessie Van Ryn says it happened near the Sunrise Food Mart between U.S. 1 and East 100 Aerial Road, between the Edgewater and Oakhill city limits.

"They were right here at the entrance of this convenience store, they were rolling, the vehicle was moving," said Van Ryn.

Van Ryn said she was leaving home to drop off her child at daycare Tuesday. She said she turned onto U.S. 1 and saw a vehicle slow down.

"And opened the passenger door and out came two kittens. I didn’t know what to do, to look at the car or look at the cats," said Van Ryn.

A Volusia County animal control worker said the cat was about six weeks old.

Van Ryn said as soon as she saw both of the kittens tossed out of the car, she jumped out to get them.

"There are so many other options if you have an animal that you don’t need, don’t want, can’t take care of. There are better options than to just discard, there are so many animal lovers. We have the humane society, we have rescues all over the place," said Van Ryn.

She said the car sped away as she ran to the median.

"She was bleeding from her little mouth when I first picked her up," said Van Ryn of one kitten.

But the other kitten got away, and taking on the woods was no easy task for Van Ryn. 

"I went home and I got my husband's machete, and I just started wacking away," said Van Ryn.

Fortunately Van Ryn said she found the kitten who took off into the woods around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The Southeast Volusia Humane Society said this has become a reoccurring problem. The director said at least eight separate incidents like this have happened within the past month. One kitten even died from its injuries.

Now animal control and other supporters are hoping to stop this and raise awareness.

"Tossing your unwanted animals to just discard them in the road is not a solution," said Van Ryn.

But she was determined to accomplish this mission and already started thinking of a name for the kitten.

"This might be Hamilton. It's inhumane, there has to be something wrong with people who are doing something like this, and they need to be held accountable, absolutely," said Van Ryn.

The humane society said it's offering a $1,600 reward for any evidence or information that leads to an arrest in this case or other cases. 

Van Ryn said she’s going to give the kittens a new home -- they’ll now stay with her family.