By this time the woman that had been next to the Dumpster was walking away. "Is this your dog?" Ms. Martinez asked the woman. The woman said no, and then scurried away into her home. Ms. Martinez said that the woman's actions seemed a little suspicious. Also, Ms. Martinez said, the thing that bothered her the most about the woman's actions is that she appeared to have closed the lid of the Dumpster, without any concern for the dog.
Lexi reached in and plucked the dog out from its unfortunate situation. The dog appeared to be friendly, but was very skinny, they said. They put the 1-year-old Labrador retriever mix inside their car and took him home and provided him with some food and water. Then Ms. Martinez called Riverside County Animal Services.
Animal Control Officer Christina Avila responded and took the dog to the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter for an examination with a member of the Veterinary Services Division team. The dog was, indeed, very thin, but appeared to be otherwise healthy. Ms. Martinez surmised that the Dumpster was too high for the dog to have leaped in by himself. She said she believes someone purposely put him in there.
"What kind of person does this? It's just horrible," Alejandra Martinez said afterward. "Why would you do this? If you don't want your dog any more, take the pet to the animal shelter. Don't throw them in the trash."
Riverside County Animal Services Director Robert Miller described the mom-and-daughter duo's actions as heroic.
"Most people might not want to get involved," Miller said. "They may call us. Some people, maybe, might keep driving. Not this great mother and daughter. They not only got involved, they stepped up to assist what was clearly an animal in need."
Next up for the 1-year-old Lab (nicknamed "Sniffy") is adoption – if a rightful owner does not show up to claim the dog. If the dog is not adopted, Riverside County Animal Services' rescue group coordinator will contact organizations that specialize in Labradors, or other groups that may have a foster home lined up to care for him.