The RSPCA is hunting someone who dumped a cat in a taped-up washing basket and left it inside a wheelie bin by the side of a busy dual carriageway near Hemel Hempstead.
A family was astonished to hear the faint ‘miaow’ when they stopped to stretch their legs in a lay-by on the busy A41 near Bourne End.
They looked inside the wheelie bin to find a laundry basket with a cushion tied over the top of it with masking tape – and an adult black cat inside.
The RSPCA was called to collect the female black cat, now named Belle by staff, and took her into care. We found her in good health, but there were signs she was either pregnant or had recently gave birth so she will need special care.
RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright said the only reason the cat was still alive was luck.
“It was pure chance that the family happened to be in the right place at the right time to save poor Belle,” she said.
“They just stopped in the lay-by to stretch their legs, but it is not a very noticeable spot by the busy main road so she could so easily have stayed trapped in there with no-one passing to hear her.
“It is just horrible to think about and must have been so terrifying for her. Considering her ordeal she was so sweet when she came out, really cuddly and affectionate. They have called her Belle at the centre because they say she is just so beautiful.”
The officer said the fact the cat might have been pregnant could have been why it was dumped.
“Who knows what makes people do things like this,” she said.
“She seemed well cared for and is certainly used to people, but perhaps it was the fact she might be pregnant which made someone want to get rid of her.
“It’s a good reminder to people about the importance of neutering their cats to prevent unwanted litters of kittens.”
The lay-by where Belle was found was on the south-bound side of the A41 just before Bourne End services in Hemel. She was found around 4.30pm on Sunday April 6.
She is now being cared for at an RSPCA centre. She will need to be monitored for a couple of months because of the chance she is pregnant, but after this she will be spayed and then put up for rehoming.
Recent research carried revealed that 85% of cat litters are a mistake. The RSPCA recommends that all cats are neutered at around four months, which is the age at which a cat can get pregnant.
We can only carry out rescues like this with your help. Please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
If anyone has any information about how Belle came to be dumped in this way they should call us in confidence on 0300 123 8018.