A "barely alive" kitten was found at the bottom of a trash can Tuesday -- with two bags of garbage on top of it, the Nassau County SPCA said in offering a $5,000 reward in the dumping case.

The female, about 6 or 7 weeks old, was in the garbage can of an Island Park woman who feeds strays, said Bob Sowers, head of the Nassau County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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Investigators are looking for witnesses and clues on whether this was done by someone who doesn't want stray cats around and doesn't want anyone feeding them, Sowers said.

The kitten was spotted in the back of a garbage truck by sanitation workers just after they had dumped the trash cans in there, authorities said.

"It's just horrible," Sowers said. "God bless the sanitation guys . . . who saw her in the back of the truck. It could have been crushed."

The workers took the feline to an animal hospital, where her chances of recovery increase every hour she stays alive, Sowers said.

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Investigators ask anyone with information on the case to call them at 516-THE-SPCA. The $5,000 reward is for an arrest and conviction in the animal cruelty case.