Good Samaritan rescues freezing cold, wet kitten from garbage truck

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Ruby, clean, pretty and recovering from her ordeal, a week after her rescue from a garbage truck


A tiny kitten named Ruby – because she was a ruby found in the rubbish – owes her life to the Pueblo, Colorado sanitation worker who heard her cries and searched through a garbage truck to find her, and then took her to the shelter to be revived.

Pueblo Animal Services/Humane Society of the Pikes Peak region is caring for the kitten and will find her a good home when she is ready for adoption.

Pueblo Animal Services wrote at Facebook on Tuesday, saying: “Meet Ruby, a sweet, playful 5-week-old kitten!

“A sanitation worker was emptying some bins when he heard the faint cries of a kitten in distress. After searching through the trash pile, he found little Ruby soaking wet and freezing at the bottom of a trash can.

“The good Samaritan immediately brought her here to PAS, where our veterinary staff got to work warming her up. Ruby’s temperature was so low that it wouldn’t register on a thermometer; she appeared to have some head trauma and was dehydrated and underweight. Veterinary staff brought a hair dryer out of the grooming room to dry her off and used heating pads to raise her very low body temperature. They also immediately put her on fluids to combat her dehydration.

“Ruby is doing just fine now, but because she is still underweight and isn’t old enough for adoption, Ruby will be going into the foster care program at PAS until she is at least two months old and healthy enough for adoption. We’ll keep [fans of the PAS Facebook page] updated on how our sweet Ruby is doing!”

Local media outlets, including KRDO Channel 13 covered the story. While PAS says Ruby was found in a trash can, channel 13 reports that she was actually found in the garbage truck, according to her rescuer’s recount of the incident.

KRDO reports that Emery Baca went hunting through the garbage in his truck when he heard cries.

“I heard something cry and it sounded kind of like a baby. So I was wondering. And I heard it again.”

“I started digging maybe seven inches in the trash. The cat rolled out, the little kitty rolled out.”

Emery was amazed that the kitten had survived several compressions of the trash that were made by the big truck, and didn’t think she would survive after being cold, wet and seemingly crushed.

“That thing has a lot of pressure,” he said. “When she came out, she was like a pretzel.”

“When I finally got her [to Pueblo Animal Services], you couldn’t even hear her crying no more. She was just opening her mouth. Nothing was coming out,” Baca said.

Shelter veterinarian Patti Canchola was on duty when Ruby came in called the kitten a “Ruby in the Rubbish,” and the name stuck and was shortened to Ruby.

“She was one pound, soaking wet, ice cold, covered in grease, garbage stuff, just awful and unresponsive,” Dr. Canchola said, adding that had the kitten been brought in much later on she wold not likely have survived.

Ruby has survived, though, and is moving on from her miserable ordeal. Given fairly widespread local news coverage, she is likely to have no trouble finding a home when she is ready.

“She’s a wonderful, sweet cat who loves to play and chat with her special friends,” said Julie Justman, associate director of Pueblo Animal Services. “We are so thankful the sanitation worker found her when he did and brought her to us so we could give her the emergency care she needed. Now, Ruby will have the chance to live a full life with a loving family.”

You can follow Pueblo Animal Services at Facebook.

Watch KRDO’s report on the story:

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The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region posted this short video with Ruby at playtime to YouTube:


Ruby, cold, wet and covered in gunk from the garbage truck, shortly after her rescue
Ruby, cold, wet and covered in gunk from the garbage truck, shortly after her rescue

2 thoughts on “Good Samaritan rescues freezing cold, wet kitten from garbage truck”

  1. That poor poor baby. What a horrible ordeal.. She deserves a fabulous home and a lifetime of love and comfort. SO glad the man went through the trouble to find her.

  2. She luckily for us, got a great home. Now known as Hermione Hope Granger Hubbard she lives with my fiancé and myself as well as her adopted sister Stormageddon. We adopted her in December of 2014, after fostering her from mid November. She runs our entire house and never has to worry about being out in the cold again. She is 12 lbs and very healthy and loves to watch people out of the windows and play with her sister Stormy, she is an extremely sweet girl.

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