Before Hillside mall opens its doors, maintenance workers empty out the garbage containers on the property. But when an employee started to grab the bag inside one receptacle on Tuesday morning, he stopped.

“They noticed an object near the top of the bin that had moved a little bit as they were opening the lid,” Ian Fraser, the senior animal control officer with Victoria Animal Control Services, said.

The worker had stopped just outside the mall entrance on Shelbourne Street, in between Shoppers Drug Mart and Sport Chek.

“He reached in to grab the garbage bag and felt it move. Then it opened it. Saw a shaving kit bag that had something moving inside,” Fraser said.

“They picked it up and felt the container, and thought something else, they could feel it moving. Opened up the zipper and there was a six or seven-week-old kitten inside a zippered shaving kit bag.”

Stuffed into the bag, the kitten had no room to move. Fraser believes it was only a matter of time before she suffocated or died in the mall’s trash compactor.

The garbage container is just out of reach of the mall’s surveillance cameras. But throwing an animal in the garbage is not only a violation of local bylaws but a violation of the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act. The incident is under investigation.

“It is a horrific thing to do. It’s an asinine thing to do to leave an animal in this situation. Completely helpless. It had no means to save itself,” Fraser said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Victoria Animal Control Services at 250-414-0233.

Mary Griffin