At just 8 weeks old, a kitten born on a Hillsboro, Oregon, farm should have been happily learning how to live life as a barn cat, exploring new spaces and gaining some independence from his mother.
But on May 3, a garbage collector from Hillsboro found the kitten in a horrific predicament, fighting for his tiny life.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on the kitten’s rescue, which began with the attentive garbage collector.
“While trying to empty the can using a hydraulic arm, the driver noticed the contents of the can were not emptying,” the statement read. “Upon further inspection, he noticed a small cat, encased in spray foam, hanging upside down from its back legs.”
“The driver knew the cat was still alive because he could hear it whining.”
The kitten was trapped in thick, hardened spray foam that covered his entire face and paws. Somehow, the little guy was able to continue breathing and whine for help.
“The driver took the garbage can back to the Hillsboro Garbage Disposal facility where shop staff worked together to remove the 8-week-old male kitten from the spray foam and take it to a local veterinarian for care,” the statement continued.
Hillsboro Veterinary Clinic’s Dr. Diane Healey told KPTV that the kitten arrived in a horrific state.
“He looked like something out of a Halloween horror show,” Healey said.
“It obviously hadn’t been there too terribly long, or he would have suffocated, the head was covered, the face was covered, the legs were stiff, he couldn’t move them.”
Police are unsure who is responsible for the animal abuse, but they do not believe the kitten’s owners are suspects.
“The kitten likely belongs to one of two different feral cats that live on the property, both with litters of kittens,” the WCSD statement read. “With all the people coming and going from the property, it’s unclear who may be responsible for this act of animal cruelty.”
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian van Kleef said the kitten is expected to be returned to his owners at the farm once he is fully healed, The Associated Press reported.
“That cat is really lucky and we’re lucky that he actually took the time to check it out,” van Kleef said of the kitten’s rescue.
For now, the kitten is recovering at Washington County Animal Services’ Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter and is expected to make a full recovery.
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