The discovery of a tiny ginger kitten at the bottom of a bin by two school boys has been described as “very lucky” by the RSPCA.

The young kitten was dumped in a bin at Rapid Bay on the west coast of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Students Kole and Billy from the local primary school had gone to the town’s jetty with their principal to empty the Hook, Line and Thinker bin, which was installed to reduce fishing rubbish entering the marine environment. 

Kole and Billy from Rapid Bay Primary with the very lucky kitten.(Supplied: Rapid Bay Primary School)

On the way back, the boys decided to check out the contents of another bin.

“When I looked in the bin, I saw a cute kitten staring at me! We could not believe it!” Kole said.

“I can’t believe someone would be so cruel to leave such a cute little animal in a bin to die a horrible, slow death.

“I think if people have a kitten they don’t want they should take them to a vet or the RSPCA instead.”

Principal Jen McArdle initially thought the boys were playing a prank on her when they told her of their discovery. 

The fluffy bundle was retrieved and wrapped in a blanket before being taken back to the school where it received plenty of attention from both staff and students.

The students discovered the kitten in the bin during a lesson about marine waste.(Supplied: Julianne Rilstone)

The kitten spent the night being cared for by Julianne Rilstone of Purrfect Paws Rescue, who made sure the kitten was eating and drinking normally.

After a vet check the next day, the kitten went to settle in at its new home with a staff member from the school.

Initially named Sandy by the kids, the kitten has been renamed Bowser Lollipop and, at about eight weeks old, the rescue organisation said it was a bit too early to determine the sex of the kitten.

The boys and their principal were returning from a trip to the town’s jetty to empty the hook, line and thinker bin.(ABC South East SA: Caroline Horn)

Carolyn Jones from RSPCA SA said Bowser Lollipop had been very lucky to have been found by the students.

“That was a fluke, really, that he or she was found. [The students] could have just dumped their rubbish and not looked inside or not heard the kitten. It was just very lucky,” she said.

“You don’t really want to think about the ones that aren’t found.”

Bowser Lollipop’s rescue comes just over a week after the alleged dumping of seven red heeler puppies on the banks of the Port River.

Bowser Lollipop got plenty of attention when taken back to the school.(Supplied: Jen McArdle)

Ms Jones said the RSPCA SA was seeing a steady increase in the number of abandoned animals.

Last year the charity received 700 reports — an increase of about 20 per cent on the average numbers recorded over the previous five years.

“The end result is quite horrific for those animals, of course, because they could be trapped and they could be very young and very vulnerable, as was the case with this kitten,” Ms Jones said.

Dumping or abandoning animals is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act and can carry a penalty of up to two years imprisonment or a $20,000 fine.

The tiny coastal school has just 36 students.(ABC South East SA: Caroline Horn)

Ms Jones said if people were struggling to keep their pets they should reach out to friends and family in the first instance and if no-one was able to help, to contact a reputable animal welfare agency such as the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League, or smaller organisation that specialised in one species.

She said the association was now taking in abandoned animals at their new centre at Main South Road in O’Halloran Hill.

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