Live kitten found in dumpster, sealed inside paint can - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Live kitten found in dumpster, sealed inside paint can

Paint Can Label Paint Can Label

A kitten, no more than six-months-old, is trapped in a bucket of paint with the midday sun beating down for hours.  Employees of the Family Dollar near Highway 431 in Phenix City heard the kitten crying inside the dumpster and came to its rescue.  Investigators say this was no accident.

When a Phenix City officer arrived to take a report of a kitten sealed inside a paint can Friday morning, he thought he was coming to pick up a dead animal. It's nothing short of a miracle that it survived nearly a full day immersed in a bucket of paint with the lid firmly pressed on. 

Mary Musselwhite was throwing away a cart of trash Thursday evening when she heard the kitten's faint cry, "So I looked down and I said, please God, don't let it be in this bucket.  And there it was. I popped the top on the bucket and its little painted face just meowed at me.  It had so much paint on it, your heart just couldn't help but fall.  Its little eyes were just covered over with paint.  It was just horrific to see that little thing in a paint bucket."

Musselwhite, a Family Dollar employee, climbed into the dumpster and used a box to carry the kitten inside the store where she washed the paint off in a sink.

"It didn't scratch me bite me, claw me, or nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It knew I was trying to help it," said Musselwhite, "I know there's a lot of cruelty in this world, but I've never seen it.  And that was just terrible."

No one knows exactly how long the cat was in the dumpster, but the employees agree, it's unlikely that it could have survived much longer.

"You know with the heat, and it being sealed, I don't think long because it would have run out of oxygen I think, and it would have drowned," said cashier, Montana Salmen.

The cat, who is now named Ginger, found a home right away with Salmen and her husband Mitchell.  They adopted it for their 7-year-old daughter.

Montana Salmen said, "It slept in our bed all night and it's been eating a lot and drinking a lot."

 "He was skittish for about an hour, he was just shaken, and then once he got comfortable and realized I wasn't going to put him in a paint can, he kind of livened up a little bit," said Mitchell Salmen.

From certain death to a loving home, Ginger has made a remarkable recovery. 

Family Dollar employees said that in addition to being covered in paint, the cat also had a flea problem and showed other signs of neglect.  They also say they've been having a problem with people illegally dumping trash in their bins after the store is closed. 

Investigators are currently trying to track down the origin of that paint bucket to help them find out who is responsible.

News Leader Nine was first alerted to this incident by the Neighborhood Watchers Group based in Russell and Lee Counties.

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