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They heard about the four-month-old kitten found in a truck engine after a 28-mile ride from East Stroudsburg, Pa., to Hackettstown. They wanted to adopt the cat, which survived the trip and is in good health, Bennett said.

"I got three dozen people who wanted to adopt this kitten, " she said, adding the publicity about the cat's adventure prompted officials to take a different approach in determining the its new home. "Normally it's a decision the shelter makes, but this kitten is a celebrity."

After considering the applicants, Bennett chose Jennifer Blunts, her boyfriend John Tegethoff and young daughter Kimberly Tegethoff of Kunkletown, Monroe County. The family was one of the first to contact Bennett, Hackettstown Police Sgt. Darren Tynan said.

Blunts and Tegethoff, along with young Kimberly, took ownership of the kitten Sunday.

Tynan said while Mars Petcare paid for the adoption cost and provided a year's supply of cat food, the couple decided to instead give the cat food to the shelter. They also made a financial donation, he said.

The family has named the kitten "Mars" after the ordeal.

Attempts to reach Blunts and Tegethoff for comment were unsuccessful Sunday.

RELATED: Engine purrs, kitten survives 28-mile trip

The orange and white cat was stuck in the fan blades of an engine to a Nissan pickup truck belonging to a Mars employee. The employee had just driven the car from his home in East Stroudsburg, a 28-mile trip.

Police and town public works employees freed the cat, which then ran away. A chase ensued, but the feline was caught nearby and appeared unharmed, police said.

The kitten had been placed in the Common Sense for Animals shelter in Franklin Township. It was kept there for seven days in case an owner came forward. No one did, and Bennett said she suspects the kitten came from the litter of a feral cat in the Mars employee's neighborhood.

"I really want to use this (story) to push the importance of spaying and neutering, " Bennett said, adding the practice is particularly important for those who own an indoor-outdoor cat.

Common Sense is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter. It is offering a special on microchips for pets in recognition of Mars, Bennett said.



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