Worker Heard Cries Coming From Trash Bag And Couldn't Believe Who He Found

“She’s alive because of him.”

A sanitation worker had just thrown a garbage bag onto his truck when he heard a loud, pitiful cry. Startled, he grabbed the bag and opened it, and found another garbage bag that was completely sealed. When he opened the second bag, he discovered a tiny, 4-week-old puppy.

“Whoever left her there obviously meant for her to die because she was going to suffocate being inside the other bag that was completely sealed,” Jessie Pena, vice president of Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project in Miami, told The Dodo. “I don’t think it was that long because she was still alive, and she was crying and making noises.”

Puppy inside garbage bag
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

After pulling the puppy out of the bag, the sanitation worker started calling different rescue organizations to get help for the puppy. Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project was the group that responded — and Pena herself went to get the puppy as quickly as she could.

Amazingly, the puppy didn’t display any symptoms of oxygen deprivation from being tied up in the bag, although she did have swelling around the head.

Dog inside garbage can
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

“We took her to the emergency vet, and she confirmed that she does have a complete fracture,” Pena said. “She wasn’t able to eat, she wasn’t able to walk, she wasn’t able to do anything when we first brought her in.”

The puppy was also really young — too young to be separated from her mom. 

Puppy sleeping on clothing
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

Yet the puppy, whom Pena named Merry since she was found just before the Christmas holidays, responded well to medical treatment.

“She’s made a significant improvement,” Pena said. “The swelling has gone down about 80 percent. She’s now eating on her own. She is walking from her bed, but she’s not able to walk away from her bed — she doesn’t have that much energy.”

Person holding tiny rescued puppy
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

And despite everything she’d been through, Merry is slowly learning to trust people. 

“The vet was saying that she’s very sweet, and she just wants to be cuddled,” Pena said. “She is recognizing the people who care for her. She is rolling on her back and trying to play like a puppy.”

Small dog with collar around his neck
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

Merry is still in recovery, so she’ll stay with an experienced foster carer for a long time — but when she eventually gets better, she’ll be up for adoption.

“Merry is now more active, playful and her tail doesn't stop wagging,” Pena said. “It’s truly heartwarming to see because she is a little fighter. Her will to live is incredible.”

Woman holding rescued puppy to her
Pena holding Merry at the animal hospital | Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project

Many people worked together to help Merry, but the puppy wouldn’t be alive without the kindness of one person — the sanitation worker.

“He was the one who saved her life,” Pena said. “If he wouldn’t have found her, she would have been dead. She’s alive because of him.”

To help Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dogs Project rescue more animals like Merry, you can make a donation