SMALL enough to fit in the palm of your hand, these day-old kittens were dumped in a skip and left to die.
Pet rescue volunteers are shocked and disgusted after council workers found the pair of newborns at Sunderland’s Beach Street waste site.
The furry creatures are now being nursed back to health by Sunderland charity Animal Krackers, where co-founder Andrea Parkin has condemned the hard-hearted act.
“I just can’t believe anyone could be so callous and cruel,” she said.
“They’re so small, they’re just like little hamsters. They can’t be more than a day old – they’ve still got their umbilical chords attached.
“If they hadn’t been found, they would have starved to death or died from hypothermia. They were very cold when they arrived here.”
Staff at Sunderland City Council’s Beach Street waste and recycling depot rescued the kittens after finding them in a dump for household waste.
James Blackburn, the councillor in charge of City Services in Sunderland, said: “One of our employees opened the skip to place some waste in it and the kittens were so close to the door that they more or less fell out.
“They were so small they weren’t even crying.”
The kittens were wrapped in a blanket and taken to Animal Krackers in Windsor Terrace, Grangetown.
Both Coun Blackburn and Andrea praised the council workers for saving the kittens’ lives.
Andrea said the pair would now be hand-reared by volunteers. She pleaded with pet owners to contact pet rescue centres if they could not cope with unwanted animals.
“It might have been that the mother of the kittens had died, or the owners felt they couldn’t cope with kittens, but they should have brought them here.
“If they’d brought them to us, we would have taken care of them. We have volunteers who hand rear kittens.”
She added: “Really people should get their pets spayed. We would pay towards the cost of that.”
Andrea said people did end up with unwanted pets, sometimes because of circumstances beyond their control, but animals should never just be dumped.
“They can bring them to us. We had one lady the other day where her landlady had changed her mind about allowing pets. We will help, we’re an animal charity, it’s what we’re here for.”
Susan Hardy, who founded Animal Krackers with Andrea in 2002, said the charity had another call the same day from a woman whose son had found a cat and kittens dumped in a back lane.
“It just goes to show people treat animals as disposable objects. They could bring them here, but they just can’t be bothered. It really is disgusting.”
•Pet owners can contact Animal Krackers for advice on 564 1812.