A vet has attacked the "cruel and thoughtless" people who left an injured cat to die in a Plymouth rubbish bin.
Dustman Ian Foley found the animal as he was about to tip a bin bag into the lorry at Lynher House in Devonport.
The cat was taken to a vet, but was so badly injured, with two broken legs and broken jaw, that it had to be put down.
Vet Duncan MacWhirter, of Woolwell Vets in Plymouth, said: "Someone could have done something. Owning an animal is not a right. It is a privilege."
'Sad and unpleasant'
He said that as a vet he had seen some horrific incidents, but he was still shocked at the discovery.
The small female black cat had its two rear left legs broken.
"It was very sad and unpleasant to see it in that state," said Mr MacWhirter.
"But for people to put it in the bin is unbelievably cruel and thoughtless.
"A lot of people don't think about the responsibilities that come with having a pet.
"There is no reason for something like this to happen.
"It could have been taken to a vet, the RSPCA or the PDSA and if you don't have any money they will help you."
Mr Foley, 29, of Coxside, said: "We tipped the bin up and the rubbish fell into the back of the lorry. We heard the cat and it sounded distressed.
"It had obviously been buried quite deep in the bin but it had managed, even with broken legs, to get itself to the top."