A KITTEN which was dumped in a skip had a lucky escape when it was saved moments before being crushed.

The little black kitten was spotted just in time by a worker at Alan’s Skip Hire in Bretton who saw it crawling from a box.

He took the eight-week-old animal to Capricorn Animal Rescue in Padeswood on Monday, where sanctuary owner Sheila Stewart is now looking after him.

“The kitten came out of the box as he went through the crusher,” said Mrs Stewart, who took the kitten to the vets on Monday.

“There is bruising on his face. It’s probably from being tipped out and being jolted along in the skip. His nose hasn’t broken which is really lucky,” she said.

“He’s had a very rough time and he’s only a baby, he’s shocked and terrified and is just sitting in the corner.

“Cats are not rubbish and shouldn’t be thrown away.”

Neil Hassall, managing director of Alan’s Skip Hire, said the kitten would almost certainly have been killed if it hadn’t been spotted.

“We collect skips from various locations and bring them all back to Bretton,” he said.

“They get tipped out and the waste goes through a sifter machine. If the cat had gone into the sifter chances are it would have been killed.

“Luckily enough we have some guys who do a preliminary sort to make sure there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be and one of the guys found the kitten.”

Mrs Stewart and Mr Hassall say they are seeing more and more cats being dumped in skips.

“I’ve been working here for 20 years and I’ve seen a lot more in the last two or three years,” said Mr Hassall.

Mrs Stewart said: “This year we’ve had three or four brought in by drivers; one lot were new-born and about three days old.”

Mrs Stewart has been inundated with kittens in the past few weeks and says there is no excuse for animals to be dumped and left to die. “All they have to do is contact the rescue,” she said.

“The mother of this kitten must be going through turmoil herself, having her litter taken away.”

Mrs Stewart said she is also housing tiny hedgehogs found when a man was knocking down his garden shed.

l Mrs Stewart said discount vouchers for neutering cats are available from the RSPCA and Cats Protection.