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Garbage Collector Rescues Kitten Encased in Spray Foam in Trash

Patricia Wuest Editorial Director, NAVC

Garbage Collector Rescues Kitten Encased in Spray Foam in Trash
A kitten that was found encased in hardened spray foam is expected to make a full recovery after being rescued from a garbage can by an Oregon sanitation worker, authorities said. Photo Credit: Courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office
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A kitten rescued earlier this month after it was found encased in spray foam and left in a trash can in Oregon is recovering, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).

kitten encased in spray foam

Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies are asking for help finding who’s responsible for this act of animal cruelty. Photo Credit: Courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office

The kitten was found on May 3. WCSO deputies responded to reports of a kitten trapped inside a garbage can at Hillsboro Garbage Disposal on SW Minter Bridge Road in unincorporated Washington County, just south of Hillsboro, Oregon.

A garbage collector was working to empty a trash can at a property on SW Minter Bridge Road, just north of the Hillsboro Garbage Disposal location. While trying to empty the can using a hydraulic arm, the driver noticed the contents of the can were not emptying. After inspecting the can, he noticed a small cat encased in spray foam that had hardened and left him bonded to the can. The kitten was trapped, hanging upside down from its back legs. The driver knew the cat was still alive because he could hear it meowing.

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.

“A whole team of his coworkers came together and rescued the cat,” says Brian van Kleef, public information officer for WCSO. “They cut it out, using razor blades to cut some of the foam off the kitten’s face and bring it to the vet.”

The trash can was located on a property with multiple structures, including two residences and several rented outbuildings. It is believed the kitten was born to one of two different “barn” cats that live on the property. It is unknown who put the foam on the kitten, but the owners are not considered suspects.

Van Kleef says the owners have several barn cats and the kitten was from a recent litter. “The owners expressed interest in getting the cat back, so they will probably get him back, although there’s a long list of people who want him,” he says.

The kitten is recovering at Washington County Animal Services’ Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We are working closely with Washington County Animal Services to investigate this case, which is standard procedure in cases of domestic animal abuse,” says Shannon Wilde, a deputy with WCSO. “When we encounter an animal that is injured or abused, the deputy takes the animal to one of our community veterinary partners for treatment. Also of note, PETA has offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in this case.”

kitten encased in spray foam

The kitten recovering at the Washington County Animal Services’ Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter.


“He looked like something out of a Halloween horror show,” Dr. Diane Healey, DVM, of the Hillsboro Veterinary Clinic told a local news station, FOX12 Oregon. “He obviously had not 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. Thank God for the guys who brought him in because it was a matter of timing. Who would do that? This is a sick person who needs a lot of help.”

The staff at the Hillsboro Veterinary Clinic named the kitten “Lucky,” says Dr. Healey. “Because he is considered ‘state’s evidence,’ he was taken into custody by the City of Hillsboro Animal Control, and is currently being housed at the Bonnie Hayes animal shelter. We have been checking in regularly, and he is doing well. His left arm was not broken, only lightly sprained, and he is currently getting around very well. We have been told that he will not be put up for adoption until the case is closed, but there are already a number of people interested in taking him home. Ee feel confident that he can look forward to a bright future.”

Learn More

Read: Animal Cruelty: Your Role in Identifying Abuse.

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