This is the moment a “hero” refuse worker rescued a hamster which had been dumped in a bin outside McDonald’s in Filton.
The distressed animal poked its head out of a discarded coffee cup which fell out of a torn bin bag being removed by cleaner Ray Aichinson, 57.
Thankfully Ray spotted the little pet and called passers-by to help in Abbey Wood Retail Park.
They ran to a nearby pet shop and came back to scoop the rodent out of Ray’s hands.
Ray said: “I was going about emptying the bin and I noticed a rip. About a second later the hamster came out in a Costa coffee cup.
“I got it back in the can as I didn’t want it running into the road. To be honest I was terrified when I saw it. I thought it was a rat.
“I just couldn’t believe it. Thank god others came to help. If you don’t want the hamster by all means give it away but not like that.
“The poor little thing. It’s not the animal’s fault. He was right at the bottom so he must have all sorts of stuff dumped on top of him.
“I’ve seen some absolute s*** in my time but that’s got to be one of the strangest things I’ve come across in a bin. I’m just glad he’s alright.”
The hamster was rushed to a nearby Pets At Home last Wednesday, where staff are nursing it back to health, ready for adoption.
Passer-by Jess Young, 26, said: “Me and my friend Katie were walking to Asda on our lunchbreak when the binman called us over.
“He looked really shocked and worried and us to take a look in the bin. I didn’t know what to expect.
“We were a little worried we might find a giant rat or some kind of dead animal – but it was a fluffy white hamster.
“We were all so shocked. It’s not something you see everyday. The poor thing look very scared and was scratching around trying to get out.
“We both ran to Pets at Home to get some help while the binman watched over it. We asked the vet at Pets at Home for help and she gave us a little box and asked us to scoop him up and bring him back in.
“We both ran back to the bin where a little crowd of people was forming. Katie scooped the little fella up and took him back to Pets at Home.
“They said they would give him a little wash and some food and then put him up for adoption in their store.
“Thank god he noticed. He saved the hamster’s life like a hero.”