POSTED: Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 4:04pm
MUNCIE, IN (WXIN-CNN) — A sanitation department employee saved a puppy after the dog was thrown away in the garbage.
Michael Upchurch was working on Wednesday when he found the puppy. It was around 11:30 a.m. His crew was driving on Main Street in Muncie. Upchurch said he did not know there was a puppy in the trash because the puppy did not make any noise.
"Out of the corner of my eye in the bag,it was a blue recycle bag, by the way, I seen his head moving. I said 'Stop the truck,'" Upchurch said.
Upchurch was with his coworker, riding on the back of the truck. He said they heard whimpering and they both thought the sound was coming from the other person.
"It was a terrible sound. This ole' doggy here hollering, 'Save me.' I guess in doggy talk," Upchurch said.
Upchurch said the puppy looked as if he was frozen. So he did what he could to warm the pup up.
Phil Peckinpaugh with the Muncie Animal Shelter said their department spoke with the woman accused of throwing the puppy away. Peckinpaugh said she told him she had thrown the puppy in the garbage because he had died from parvo.
"The dog did not have parvo. It was simply just starving. It's blood sugar was so low that it had caused it to maybe pass out. She had the idea that the dog passed away because it wasn't moving," Peckinpaugh said.
Peckinpaugh said the owner told him she got rid of two other puppies because of the same reason.
"It's absolutely horrible to think that maybe the others weren't this lucky, maybe they were alive," Peckinpaugh said.
He said it is impossible to know for sure.
Upchurch is hopeful people will take away a lesson from this story.
"I kinda hope this makes people think a second before they do this 'cause there's so much help out there," Upchurch said.
People can seek help from a veterinarian or an animal shelter if their animal is sick or if their animal recently passed away and they do not have the resources to bury the animal properly.
Upchurch has adopted the puppy. He named him Garby because he found him in the garbage. He said he is amazed Garby is doing well a day after he found him.
Peckinpaugh said the former owner has been cited with animal neglect and animal cruelty. He said the case has been turned over to the prosecutor's office and it could take 5-10 days to find out if the woman who was cited will be charged.