06/07/2012 11:14 BST

Lucky Escape For Kitten Rescued From Recycling Truck (PICTURES)

An unwanted three-week-old kitten has been saved from death by recycling truck after it was dumped in a bin.

The female tortoiseshell kitten was thrown into a bin full of cardboard, which was then emptied into the back of a waste truck.

As the truck's crusher began operating, two bin men heard her cries and immediately stopped the mechanism.

The men, who were completing their round on Cornwall Street in Plymouth, Devon, then saw the tiny kitten fall from the crusher's blades.

rescued kitten

The tiny kitten was saved by workers almost at the last moment

The kitten, which has since been named Lucky, was unharmed in the incident.

She was taken to the Devon Contract Waste depot on Sowton Industrial Estate, in Exeter, where she has been adopted by the staff.

Donna Cook, who works at the depot, said that the large four-wheel bins had heavy lids, so the kitten could not have found a way inside by herself.

"She was definitely dumped," Ms Cook said.

rescued kitten

Poor Lucky deserved a long rest after the frightening episode

"We can't have lids that are open because the rubbish would go everywhere, so someone has to have opened it.

"That is the most horrific part of it, for someone to do that.

"If you put something in a bin you know where it is going to end up, and for someone to do that on purpose is horrific."

Lucky is now being looked after by the company's managing director Simon Almond, his wife Anne-Marie and their two daughters aged 13 and 15, who are taking it in turns to do four-hour feeds.