San Francisco News

Shelter flooded with offers to adopt puppy left in trash

Monday, December 23, 2013

It seems that just about everyone wants to adopt a 10-week-old puppy who was thrown in the trash and left for dead in San Francisco. Shelter workers have named her Gem, calling her a diamond in the rough.

Gem is recovering quite well. It's hard to believe she survived her ordeal, considering her heartbreaking experience at the recycling plant. She is recovering from apparent bite marks around her neck and lameness in her hind legs.

She was dumped in a pile of construction debris. A truck transporting recyclable building material brought her to the Recology plant.

It's unclear how long the puppy was in the pile, but she was eventually dropped on a conveyor belt, where halfway through had to go through what's called the shaker. An employee noticed her sticking out of a plastic bag, moving.

Employees are calling it a miracle. Gem was just moments away from entering "the pit," items bound for the landfill.

Arturo Pena says she was bleeding and shaking so he wrapped a blanket around her and tended to her wounds immediately.

"It was so touching, so beautiful," Pena said. "It was just looking at me with those little puppy eyes and oh my God, it was just breaking my heart." 1:45:24>

Animal control officers are hoping tips from the public will help them figure out how Gem ended up in the trash. As of now, there are only theories.

"Let's say a next door neighbor's dog attacked it and they got nervous or fearful and threw her away so they wouldn't get in trouble or people could be abusing her or letting their dogs attack her," San Francisco Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz said.

Once they get some answers, animal control officers are hoping to put Gem out for adoption. Shelter workers have been flooded with calls from people all over the country eager to give her a home.

One couple from Martinez arrived well before the shelter opened to put their names on the list.

"If it's us, if it's someone else, her story touched so many people that she's going to have a wonderful life," Josephine Messina said.

And that's all anyone can hope for, for this little puppy that's been through so much.

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Tags:
animal, animals in peril, recology, recycling, san francisco news, lilian kim
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