Four kittens were rescued from the trash at a Vancouver Island waste transfer station on Dec. 4.
Workers at the centre near Bings Creek facility near Duncan spent some time trying to fish the kittens, estimated to be approximately seven weeks old, out of the garbage bin they were found in. One employee went to hospital with minor injuries as a precaution after a terrified kitten bit him during its rescue.
The Foster Kritters Feral Cat Rescue group were called in, and they have been cleaning and taking care of the little cats since then.
Doug Stevens, manager of solid waste operation with the Cowichan Valley Regional District which operates the transfer station, said the kittens likely arrived in a load of garbage and were spotted in the bin by a visitor to the facility.
He said it isn’t clear how the kittens got into the bin where they were found, but suggested they were feral and may have been born in the bin and were possibly in it for some time.
But Kirsten Belday, founder of Foster Kritters Feral Cat Rescue, said the kittens are not behaving as if they were feral, and they were not dehydrated and had full bellies, which suggested to her that they were in the bin for no more than a day or two.
She did say that the kittens had ear mites and fleas when they were found, but they were in fairly good condition otherwise and have few other health issues.
“I think they were put into a garbage bag and set it out for curbside pickup, and then were unknowingly thrown into the garbage truck and had a terrifying ride with more garbage being thrown in around them along the route,” Belday said.
“I think they were then dumped from the truck into the building at the waste plant where, somehow, they were discovered by the amazing and heroic staff who climbed through the mountain of garbage to rescue them. A huge thank you has to go out to Heather (Nash) and her coworkers at Bings Creek who spotted these babies and saved their lives. ”
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Belday said kittens being dumped is not a new or unusual occurrence.
She said the kittens were treated like trash, and this treatment of animals has to stop.
Belday said the kittens will be spayed/neutered and given shots before they can be adopted.
“They will soon be heading to our friends at the Victoria-based Itty Bitty Kitty Committee who have agreed to take them in,” she said.
“Kitten adoptions are down right now, so we figure they have a better chance of getting adopted in Victoria because it has a bigger population than the Cowichan Valley.”