Two kittens that were found hypothermic and dehydrated in a downtown Vancouver dumpster last week have died, and investigators want to know who would have abandoned them there. 

Connie Jorsvik and another neighbour discovered the kittens after hearing them meowing from the garbage receptacle last week. They called the BC SPCA for help, and tried to keep the tiny animals comfortable until an animal protection officer arrived.

"It makes me angry," Jorsvik told CTV News. "I just can't imagine that someone thought it through."

The kittens were rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment, but it was too late to save them.

The incident is all the more shocking because the suffering the kittens endured was completely unnecessary, according to SPCA senior protection officer Eileen Drever.

"These kittens were thrown away just like garbage, and that's something that didn't have to happen," Drever said.

"If anyone out there has any problems with their animals, please reach out to the SPCA and we will try to provide assistance."

The dumpster is located in a secured parking area at 1040 Pacific Street, near the Burrard Street Bridge. The kittens were found in a plastic shopping bag that, in a cruelly ironic twist, was marked with the words "Love You."

Drever said if the person responsible is caught, they could face serious repercussions. The maximum penalties available under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act include a $75,000 fine, a ban on owning animals and two years in prison.

The SPCA has yet to identify a suspect, but Drever said she's hopeful someone will come forward with information.

"The SPCA is a voice for the animals, and we are speaking for these kittens," Drever told CTV News. "We will get to the bottom of this and find out who did this."

With files from CTV Vancouver's David Molko