Surveillance video posted online by the cat's owners shows a gray-haired woman gently petting the cat, glancing occasionally at the garbage bin, then grabbing the animal by the scruff, tossing it in the bin, and closing the lid.
The video has outraged thousands of viewers, some of whom promise retribution. It's also caught the attention of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which prosecutes cruelty cases. The group is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, police are calling on the community to show restraint. They posted officers to protect the woman after a crowd gathered outside her home.
The Society says Lola the cat was trapped in the garbage bin for 15 hours before her owners tracked down her cries.