Police investigate caged puppy found in dumpster

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police are trying to find the person who threw a puppy away in a dumpster while it was still alive.

Among the debris in the dumpster he has been using to renovate his home on Median Court, George Theus said he noticed a yellow tarp that seemed out of place last Thursday. Beneath it, he found a two-pound puppy in a cage.

“When I raised myself up there, there was a puppy in there that I thought was a possum or some other kind of animal, and then when I assessed it, it was a little gray pit bull in a cage,” Theus said.

Theus said he and another man pulled the cage out and called police. Officer Brenda Quintana was first at the scene.

“‘Dear Lord, look at that puppy.’ That’s all that just kept going through my mind,” she said.

“I was kind of crushed because I love dogs and stuff,” Theus said.

Animal control officers said the five to six-week-old blue-gray pit bull mix, they named Thia, was dehydrated and very thin. They don’t know who put her there or how long she had been in the dumpster, Quintana said.

“We found her on a very hot day, but there were storms prior to, a couple days prior. Was she in there then? … It’s just heinous. It’s unnecessary,” she said.

Officers said they took the puppy to an animal hospital and the Portsmouth Humane Society, where she died overnight.

Neighbor Daisy Holloway, who owns a dog herself, said she wished whoever abandoned the animal had knocked on her door first.

“You know, we would have taken it somewhere so it could have gotten some care, if they didn’t want to keep it,” she said. “But to just toss it in the dumpster, it was like tossing a baby in there and that was horrible.”

Police said the humane society did all it could to save the animal. It’s not clear what caused her death, but a doctor is performing a necropsy this week in Lynchburg to determine that, officers said.

Animal control officers want you to give Crime Line a call, if you know something about the puppy, the black wire crate or the light yellow tarp: 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠.

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