A dog rescued from a garbage can when he first came in for care a shelter (left) and after (right).
Peter Kreuthmeier was walking his dog Zeke near his workplace when Zeke insisted in sniffing around a garbage can in a vacant lot in Garfield, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zeke began pulling Peter over to the plastic garbage can, which was tipped on its side, intent on exploring it more closely.
Peter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Zeke went up to it. He was sniffing and sniffing and pretty soon this dog nose pops out of a hole in the bottom of the garbage can. And then you hear this 'thumpthumpthumpthump' from the bottom of the can like he was wagging his tail." Peter was shocked to realize Zeke had discovered a discarded dog inside the can. The lid of the garbage can was firmly shut, but appears the dog trapped inside had chewed through the bottom.
Peter opened it up to look inside and was sickened at what he saw. The dog was covered in wounds, had fleas and a matted fur. He also had a ghastly gash around his neck, likely from a collar that had become embedded because it was too small.
Peter with Zeke go back to where they found a dog in a garbage can. Photo: Chris Kasprak/Post-Gazette
Peter immediately called Pittsburgh animal control, whose officers came right away to retrieve the wounded dog and take him to a shelter for care. He was taken to Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Verona, Pennsylvania. Workers there cleaned the small dog and treated his wounds. The dog, who appears to be a terrier-poodle mix of around 3 to 4 years old, happily wagged his tail from the moment he arrived at the shelter.
Peter gave all the credit for the dog's rescue to Zeke, a rescue dog himself. Peter doubts the dog would have been found alive had Zeke not pulled him over to the garbage can. Now the small dog is getting well looked after and will be put up for adoption when he's ready.
The Animal Rescue League has had an overwhelmingly positive response of people wanting to adopt the dog, so they've decided to use a lottery-type system to adopt him out. They write, "We'll compile a list of everyone interested in this little guy and then choose someone at random. The chosen family must still meet our normal adoption criteria or we'll choose another one. Submit your information to firstname.lastname@example.org".
They also posted a video of the dog a day after his rescue. After one day, the friendly dog looks like he's on his way to recovery, thanks to Zeke.
Update September 22, 2012:
Just a month ago, Oscar chewed a hole in the plastic trash can he had been discarded in so he could survive. On Friday he went home with a family of four who were hoping they would be the lucky ones to win the lottery the rescue was holding to see who would be adopting him.
Wendy Long of West Deer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "He's been a great addition to our family". Oscar joins her, her husband Dave and their daughter Ryleigh, 10 and son Noah, 8.
When the family saw his story on the news they knew they wanted to bring him home. Ryleigh thought Oscar was like "the perfect dog". They entered their name in the lottery and crossed their fingers. Even though they had a 1 in 60 chance of getting Oscar, Dave knew they'd get him. He recalls telling his family, "I said, 'That's the lottery we're going to win - the dog,'. And we do feel like we won the lottery."
Oscar came home with the Longs for a trial run and immediately fit in. He's handling housebreaking, hasn't chewed any belongings and has taken to defending the large fenced backyard from rabbits, squirrels and wild turkeys much to the family's admiration. Wendy figures he's not older than a year, which is good considering the house has two young kids. "He still has that puppy energy, which is good because we still have a lot of energy," Wendy said laughing.
The family said the moment he came inside, he immediately jumped on the couch and made himself comfortable. It's is a far cry from where he was found just one month ago and it's now his favorite place for a cuddle with Ryleigh and Noah.