Local News

Muncie trash collector rescues puppy found in garbage bag

A sanitation department employee saved a puppy after the dog was thrown away in the garbage.

Michael Upchurch was working on Wednesday when he found the puppy. It was around 11:30 a.m. His crew was driving on Main Street in Muncie. Upchurch said he did not know there was a puppy in the trash because the puppy did not make any noise.

“Out of the corner of my eye in the bag,it was a blue recycle bag, by the way, I seen his head moving. I said ‘Stop the truck,’” Upchurch said.

Upchurch was with his coworker, riding on the back of the truck. He said they heard whimpering and they both thought the sound was coming from the other person.

“It was a terrible sound. This ole’ doggy here hollering, ‘Save me.’ I guess in doggy talk,” Upchurch said.

Upchurch said the puppy looked as if he was frozen. So he did what he could to warm the pup up.

Phil Peckinpaugh with the Muncie Animal Shelter said their department spoke with the woman accused of throwing the puppy away. Peckinpaugh said she told him she had thrown the puppy in the garbage because he had died from parvo.

“The dog did not have parvo. It was simply just starving. It’s blood sugar was so low that it had caused it to maybe pass out. She had the idea that the dog passed away because it wasn’t moving,” Peckinpaugh said.

Peckinpaugh said the owner told him she got rid of two other puppies because of the same reason.

“It’s absolutely horrible to think that maybe the others weren’t this lucky, maybe they were alive,” Peckinpaugh said.

He said it is impossible to know for sure.

Upchurch is hopeful people will take away a lesson from this story.

“I kinda hope this makes people think a second before they do this ’cause there’s so much help out there,” Upchurch said.

People can seek help from a veterinarian or an animal shelter if their animal is sick or if their animal recently passed away and they do not have the resources to bury the animal properly.

Upchurch has adopted the puppy. He named him Garby because he found him in the garbage. He said he is amazed Garby is doing well a day after he found him.

Peckinpaugh said the former owner has been cited with animal neglect and animal cruelty. He said the case has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office and it could take 5-10 days to find out if the woman who was cited will be charged.


35 Comments to “Muncie trash collector rescues puppy found in garbage bag”

    sklabez said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Welcome to a new and pretty life, Garby !

    Sue said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Bless that garbage man! The puppy is lucky to be alive!

      Linda said:
      February 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      Sue…couldn't of said it better.

    John said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    KUDDOS top the pup's new dad!!! Glad to hear the Garby is going to have a GREAT life.
    As for the woman who did this, YES charges need to be filed, she should have taken Garby to the vet or the shelter to be checked. I hope she does have to serve time for her crime.

    DEANNA said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:29 PM


    Marilyn said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    What disturbs me is haw many puupies, dogs, cats are tossed into the trash and never discovered before they die. Sad, very sad. Yes, she needs jail time.

    myron said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    good to hear a happy ending !!!!!!!!!

    Janet said:
    February 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Yay for Garby and his WONDERFUL new owner!!! I love a happy ending! :)

    Guest said:
    February 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Bless this trash man and his new pet!!! So glad there are still some caring people out there!

    jackie said:
    February 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    i thin they should put her in a garbage bag and toss her out and let her knowwhat its like to be tossed out and nobody care. wtg garby and new owner

    Michael said:
    February 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Whats up with The Peoples Republic of Delaware county and all of these animal abuse cases?

    Monica said:
    February 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    That is so sad that someone would do that… glad to hear he will be okay and taken care of correctly

    david said:
    February 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Im happy for this litt le guy and to the man that adopted this pup……….Its people like you that make news worthy……….

    Paula said:
    February 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Great to hear you are going to have and wonderful filled life ahead of you!!
    Thank goodness for the guy rescuing you, very nice of him to adopt you!!!
    Take care Garby, I am sure you will always be loved!!!
    As for the woman, she needs to be in prison and fined to the highest extent of the law for animal cruelty and neglect!!!

    joe-joe2 said:
    February 14, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    What a neat story……..many thanks to the trash collector. Hope it's the same collector who eventually finds the previous 'owner' in the trash someday. That's where she should be.
    Garby is a cutie !!!!

    Wally said:
    February 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    How can we help the individual who rescued Garby and Garby. Garby being a puppy, the individual who saved Garby will be facing expenses for his care. Would love to help as this is a great story with a happy, happy ending.

      DOTTIE said:
      February 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM


    cjmo2662 said:
    February 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    They need to throw the woman in the garbage! She is TRASH!!!!

    jamesonray said:
    February 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Sometimes you find your best friends in the strangest places!

    etstella56 said:
    February 14, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Someone should throw the owner in the garbage, hopefully there is a special pit in hell for people like her.

    Diana said:
    February 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    This is such a wonderful story, I wish the others would have made it. As far as getting a vets help you can hang that up to dry. I have tried several times over the years for emergency help when I didn't have the money and not a vet one would help me unless I had a couple of hundred dollars. My daughters pug was attacked by a big dog and its eye was popped out, I called every vet in the phone book, not one would help my daughter unless we had money. I finally got hold of one to get a sedative, I told my daughter to take the dog with her and they did put the eye back in. But the whole ordeal took over nine hours. The dog was fine but went blind. If I could have gotten help right away the dog may have not lost his eye sight.

      Tower said:
      February 15, 2013 at 6:17 AM

      If you don't have the money for a Vet then you CAN"T afford a PET!!!! You're about as bad as the woman who did this to the poor puppy. Veterinary care is the responsibility of the OWNER!

    Wanda said:
    February 14, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Yay for Garby! Thank God for great people who are compassionate and paying attention to what's happening around them!
    Bless Garby & his new owner!

    larry said:
    February 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    I wish I had your phone number, I'd feed that dog for 1 yaer….for free

    Angela said:
    February 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    GARBY!!! Haha love it!!! Great job Upchurch!! God bless you!! Love a happy ending!

    Xonnie said:
    February 14, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    I wonder if that woman needs her pets spayed or neutered. The news cast almost made the woman who threw the puppy in the trash seem as if the act was acceptable. Oh she was poor, old and thought the dog was dead (which I don't believe) so she is excused? Whats wrong with people?

    Shirley said:
    February 14, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Put her Butt in a Garbage Bag and throw her in the Trash ! Lock her Butt up !

    jjj said:
    February 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    He looks like he's gonna be a good dog.

    Jazzy said:
    February 15, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    Awwww.. Garby is adorable.. Bless the garbage man!!

    mary reeder said:
    February 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    this a true gift from god to this man that saved this little life" great job I hope this women get put in jail and should never have somthing alive in her care i have nothing but anger and sadness for this trash of a human hartless women

    NaySayer said:
    February 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    so glad that the puppy is safe. BUT Upchurch was NOT the one to pull the pup out of the bag. It was his partner. Saddens me that he let the media go to his head and gave no credit to the real savior of the pup and is taking credit for something he only had a small part in….

    kathy said:
    February 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    why was the dog starving before she threw him away?

    Brandy said:
    February 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    I hate that woman I hope she suffers for what she did, she needs to go to jail!
    i wish someone will throw her in the trash! She better never own another animal again,
    I will pray that dog lives a great happy life and that woman lives the rest of her sorry life suffering!

    Jack said:
    February 18, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Very happy ending for the pup and new owner. Marisela , putting a plastic bag over your head to demonstrate the bag being opened was not really necessary though.