On Monday morning, Arizona resident Phillip Merrell noticed something strange near a dumpster behind a Walmart in Mesa.
While it’s not clear what he was doing there, it ended up being miraculous timing.
A trash bag next to the dumpster was moving, and Merrell went to investigate.
Merrell opened the bag to find three small Chihuahua mix dogs tied together, stuffed in the garbage bag and thrown out like trash. He must have found them relatively soon after they were left there, as no living creature would have lasted very long in that situation.
The rescue community in the area quickly came together to find temporary accommodations for the dogs, circulate their story and try to uncover their past.
“If you were missing a dog perhaps they all went together or perhaps somebody collected them they put them in a bag by the trash,” Dusty Lee wrote in a Facebook post regarding the dogs.
“These could be stolen or these could actually have been dogs that somebody found or maybe they have Vengeance on the neighbor because they were out barking never assume the owners did this.”
“Thank you to the kind gentleman who took all three home,” Lee wrote in a separate post. “He has never owned a dog in his life. And yet he showed what Simple Kindness and patience will do. He worked with me all the way up until almost 1 AM. Thank you sir.”
Though the three dogs looked like they suffered some heat exhaustion, they have since been fully vetted and taken care of. Todd Born with Mangy Mutt Rescue stepped up to secure the pups even though he’d just gotten news the same day that his mother had passed away.
“The pups were in good shape, really hungry and thirsty, and they suffered from a bit of heat exhaustion, but overall in good shape,” Born told KNXV-TV. “Thankfully, they weren’t in there too long.”
Now that the dogs are being cared for, some are turning their attention to attempting to locate the owner(s) to make sure they weren’t also victims of the situation. Born and others are using their platform to remind people that this kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
“I’d like to do the same to them, but, realistically, if we can educate the public on other options of what they can do with animals that are either in their care or that they come across as strays, that’s probably … would be our best avenue of action,” Born said.
The Arizona Humane Society confirmed to KNXV-TV that disposing of unwanted animals in such a manner is, indeed, a crime. If the person who bagged and tossed the three dogs is identified and located, they will be charged with animal cruelty.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.