May 16, 2019
The 8-week-old male kitten rescued by a Washington County garbage collector is expected to make a full recovery and may soon return home. For now, he’s receiving care at Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter in Hillsboro, OR. While Washington County Sheriffs investigators continue their investigation, they say at this point the residents at the kitten’s home are not suspects.
"They have said they want the kitten back,” says Deputy Brian van Kleef, who acknowledged his department has received many questions about why the kitten would be returned. The kitten appears to have been born to a feral cat that the family cares for. Deputies collected evidence from the home’s property, but van Kleef says at this time the home’s residents are not suspects in the animal abuse case.
A garbage collector discovered the kitten on May 3 while collecting trash from the home on SW Minter Bridge Road, in an unincorporated area of Washington County south of Hillsboro. According to a WCSO news release, a driver was trying to empty the trash can using a hydraulic arm, when he noticed the contents weren’t emptying. After a closer look, the driver discovered a tiny kitten encased in sticky spray foam and hanging from his back legs inside the trash container. The kitten was making a whining noise, even with his head and face fully covered in the foam.
The driver took the garbage can back to the Hillsboro Garbage Disposal Facility, where workers freed the small gray kitten from the trash can and tried to remove some of the foam before taking the kitten to a nearby veterinarian for care. After treatment, the kitten was transferred to the Washington County Bonnie L. Hays Animal Shelter for care. The kitten remains at the shelter as of today.
The garbage can came from a property with two residences and multiple rented outbuildings. Investigators say that with so many people coming and going from the property, it’s difficult to determine who might be responsible, but they believe the act was intentional. Investigators recovered a can of spray foam from the property and are having it tested for fingerprints.
“We’re just hoping someone has a tip,” says Deputy van Kleef. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Corporal Brandon Talbott at 503-846-2700.