6 min read

Someone Dumped This Tiny Puppy In A Shoebox Outside A Supermarket

He only weighed one pound, and he really needed his mom.

Eddie Olivarez was taking a break from his job at Albertsons, a grocery store in Arcadia, California, when he spotted a shoebox sitting on the ground by the dumpsters. He could have just tossed the shoebox away, but something told him to lift the lid and see what was inside.

When he did, he got the biggest surprise. The tiniest puppy was inside.

Tiny puppy inside shoebox
Hand in Paw

It was a wonder the puppy was still alive — it was an extremely hot day, with temperatures ranging between 97 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the puppy had no food or water inside the box.

He also had a head and eye injury, so Olivarez got in touch with Piper Wood, founder of Hand in Paw, a California rescue group, and asked for her help.

Tiny puppy wrapped up in blanket
Hand in Paw

“He [the puppy] had blood on top of his head, and his little eye was popping out,” Wood told The Dodo. “And the dog was so weak. I don’t know when the last time he ate was or had water … he was very anemic and almost going into seizures.”

The puppy, who Wood believes is a Shih Tzu mix, was also very young — too young to be on his own.

“He doesn’t even have teeth yet,” Wood said. “He’s like 4 or 5 weeks, so he definitely needs to be with his mother.”

Puppy cuddled up in blanket
Hand in Paw

While no one is sure who dumped the puppy at the supermarket, Wood thinks there’s a good chance a backyard breeder abandoned him after the puppy got injured.

“I see this kind of thing a lot,” Wood said. “When people breed their dogs illegally … they’re not kept in good conditions, and they just want to make money off of them. And oftentimes, they’ll sell them very underage.”

Dog bundled up in blanket
Hand in Paw

“I think that whoever had him didn’t know what to do when he got hurt, so they just tossed him in the parking lot in the shoebox,” Wood added. “There are just so many other ways you could go about that. Take him to an emergency vet or surrender him to a shelter. Either one is better than just leaving him in a hot shoebox with no food or water, and very badly injured.”

Wood wasn’t able to get the puppy that night, so she asked Olivarez to care for him overnight, and to meet her at the vet clinic first thing in the morning.

Person holding tiny puppy
Albert after getting his eye surgery | Hand in Paw

The vet recommended immediate surgery on the puppy’s injured eye — it was close to rupturing, and could cause further health complications if not treated.

“I was really worried about him going into surgery because I didn’t know if he’d make it through, being so weak,” said Wood, pointing out that Albert only weighed about 1 pound.

Tiny puppy sitting on person's lap
Albert after getting his eye surgery | Hand in Paw

But the puppy, who was named Albert Eyestein (Albert for short), managed to pull through. After his surgery, Olivarez took Albert home and kept him for a few days, feeding him through a syringe. Then on Monday, Wood’s friend Berni Gutierrez took over Albert’s foster care, and he’ll keep him until Albert goes to a forever home.

“He’s still very quiet just because he’s so weak, but he’s developing his personality,” Wood said. “He loves to play with toys. He loves to eat now. He’s very sweet.”

To help Albert get better, you can make a donation to Hand in Paw.