CHICAGO (CBS) — A cat was found abandoned outside a Rock Falls animal shelter Wednesday in a pet carrier filled with snow.

Winter was found abandoned in a pet carrier packed with snow outside Happy Tails Humane Society (Credit: Happy Tails Humane Society)

Donald Czyzyk says he noticed the “faintest little bit of pink” sticking out of a snow bank as he was heading to work at Happy Tails Humane Society.

“My first thought was there’s no way there’s an animal in here because all you could see inside was packed snow,” he said.

Czyzyk says he pulled the carrier out of the snow and put it in his truck.

“All of a sudden I see an ear and an eye,” he said. “I was absolutely stunned at what happened.”

He says the shelter speculates the cat was left outside at least half of the night because most abandonments happen around 11 p.m. or midnight. Czyzyk believes a snow plow must have hit the cage and then covered it with snow around 4 a.m. because the it was found across the street.

Winter was found abandoned in a pet carrier packed with snow outside Happy Tails Humane Society (Credit: Happy Tails Humane Society)

When he took the cat inside and got her out of the carrier, he says she was “immediately lovable and wanted attention.”

The staff named her Winter after her ordeal.

Winter was found abandoned in a pet carrier packed with snow outside Happy Tails Humane Society (Credit: Happy Tails Humane Society)

Winter had fleas and flea allergy dermatitis and was cold and wet, but was otherwise unharmed by her night in the cold, Czyzyk says.

The shelter’s doctor wants to monitor Winter for several days, but she should be up for adoption on Tuesday.

Abandonment of animals is illegal in Whiteside County and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

The shelter also raised $1,000 for a reward for anyone with information regarding who might have abandoned Winter, which they say will be awarded at the end of a prosecution.

Winter was the second cat dumped at the shelter this week.