An Oregon garbage collector made a shocking discovery on the job earlier this month, local deputies said.
As the garbage truck driver tried to empty a trash can May 3 outside Hillsboro, some trash seemed to be stuck inside. That’s when the driver looked into the can and spotted a kitten trapped at the bottom, where its body was “encased in spray foam, hanging upside down from its back legs,” Washington County deputies said in a news release on Wednesday.
Deputies said the garbage collector knew the kitten was alive because it was whining.
The driver brought the kitten to Hillsboro’s garbage disposal facility and staff there worked to free the trapped cat. The 8-week-old kitten was then taken to a nearby veterinarian and deputies were called, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The kitten is now recovering at a Washington County animal shelter and is expected to be fine, deputies said.
“It definitely seems like it was done intentionally, so we want to investigate it as an act of animal cruelty,” said Washington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian van Kleef, the Oregonian reports.
Deputies said “it’s unclear who may be responsible for this act of animal cruelty,” in part because the trash can where the kitten was found is shared among multiple residences and rented outbuildings, with many people “coming and going from the property.”
“The kitten likely belongs to one of two different feral cats that live on the property, both with litters of kittens,” deputies said in the news release. “The cat will be returned to its owners once the investigation is completed.”
Van Kleef said the people the kitten will be returned to have been taking care of the feral cats in the area and are not suspects in the animal cruelty investigation, the Oregonian reports.
“If they hadn’t wanted it back, there’s already a long list of people who wanted to adopt it,” van Kleef said, according to the newspaper.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with tips in the incident to report the information to deputies by calling 503-846-2700.