A heartbroken cat lover is warning pet owners to be vigilant after four of her kittens were dumped with the rubbish.
Chelsea Radford says her weeks-old pets were cruelly left for dead after being placed in a box and tossed into her neighbour’s wheelie bin.
She said: “I was heartbroken when I found out. I felt absolutely sick to my stomach.
“I just cannot believe that somebody could be so cruel to do that to harmless and defenceless little animals.”
The kittens were the offspring of one of three feral cats that Miss Radford had begun caring for last year. She fed the animals each day and turned a shed at her home on Hall Close in Hemsworth into a shelter for them to stay.
Miss Radford said her partner Rob Braithwaite had put theirs and their neighbour’s bin out one Thursday evening last month, ready for collection.
She received a message from her neighbour whilst at work the next day, explaining that the bin men had heard crying and yelping and found the distressed kittens.
The 24-year-old said: “That morning, the mother had come out of the shed but she never came for her food.
“She was hovering around the dustbin and crying and scratching at the bin.
“I didn’t think much of it, but looking back now I wish I had done.”
Miss Radford lives in hope her pets are still alive, after being told the bin men rescued the kittens and, not knowing who they belonged to, called the RSPCA. But she has not managed to trace them yet.
She said: “I am so thankful to the bin men that spotted and saved them. Even if I got them back, I don’t feel like they would be safe round here now.”