Edinburgh students save abandoned kitten from dumpster

Echo was dumped in a bin in Marchmont. Picture; contributed

Echo was dumped in a bin in Marchmont. Picture; contributed

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A five-month-old kitten was found by students after being cruelly dumped in a communal bin in Marchmont.

Adam Brown, 21, a sports management student at the University of Edinburgh was walking along Marchmont Street when he heard the cries of a kitten. He said: “I was walking home from my friend Joe’s flat on Warrender Park Road at about 11pm.

“I heard a cat meowing near a large bin but when I stopped and looked around for a cat I couldn’t see one.

“I realised it was coming from the dumpster and when I opened the lid of it, I still couldn’t see a cat but continued to hear the meowing.”

Adam was convinced the noise was coming from the bottom of the bin so climbed in. “I moved around a few bags of trash, trying to locate the noise when I saw what looked like a balled up cotton pillowcase. It appeared to be moving so I brought it out of the bin onto the sidewalk,” he said.

Adam, who is from San Francisco, discovered an unhurt kitten bundled into a pillowcase which was knotted at the top.

“It took me a little while because the knot was pretty tight and the pillowcase was wet but when I got it undone I found a little kitten inside.”

Adam returned to friend and fellow student Joe Tyndal’s flat with the kitten and the pair warmed her up with the help of flatmate David Duffy, 21, a veterinary and ecology student at the University of Edinburgh.

The students contacted the RSPCA who operate in England and Wales only.

“I didn’t know about the Scottish SPCA so first called the RSPCA”, said Joe, who is from east London. “But it turned out to be the best thing to do.”

The RSPCA runs a 24 hour customer service line who advised Adam, Joe and David to keep her overnight and contact the Scottish SPCA in the morning.

“It was about 11pm so we decided just to hold on to her during the night, feed her and keep her warm,” explained Joe.

The students were given the option to re-home her but confessed they didn’t think they would be able to give her as good a home as a family.

“Basically someone put the kitten in a wet pillowcase, knotted the top so it couldn’t get out, and threw it in the bin,” finished Adam. “Pretty awful. I doubt it would have survived the night so I’m glad I found it!”

The SSPCA – who was alerted to the incident on Wednesday – is appealing to the public for information on the vicious incident.

Fiona Thorburn, animal rescue officer, said: “Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that the she was in the bin for very long as the pillowcase wasn’t soiled but it must have been very traumatic.

The animal welfare charity collected the kitten, nicknamed Echo, from Joe on Wednesday and is now caring for her at the Scottish SPCA animal rescue and re-homing centre in Dumbarton.

“Echo is extremely vocal, which looks to have saved her life,” continued Fiona. “If she hadn’t been discovered then she would have died a slow and painful death. Echo is doing great despite her ordeal and is very active so doesn’t seem too affected.

“This is not only an unusually cruel incident but it is also an offence.

“We are now looking to trace whoever is responsible and ask that anyone with information to get in touch.”

Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.