'Dead' Dog Rescued From Dumpster in the Nick of Time, Owners Charged With Neglect

A Yorkshire terrier is getting a second chance at life after an unsuspecting construction worker rescued the pup from a dumpster.

Fox 31 in Denver, Colorado reported that on July 27 Scott Miller happened to toss something in a dumpster around 6:30 a.m in Westminster, Colorado. It was then that he spotted the dog sitting on a blanket on a pile of trash.

"Felt really bad for the dog," Miller told the station. "It's no place for any living creature."

Miller said he rescued the dog not long before the garbage truck came by and thinks if he hadn't happened along the small pup, he would have been crushed.

"That dog, there was no way that there was a misunderstanding that the dog was alive or dead," Miller told Fox 31. "He was clearly well off. Sweet, sweet dog."

After contacting the police, the dog's microchip was scanned and they were able to identify the owners, Robert and Dr. Nickie Bell.

When the couple was first contacted, Nickie said the dog "was throwing up, hair was falling out, he wasn't breathing, he wasn't walking," Fox 31 reported.

She told the officer that the couple wrapped the dog in a blanket and "put him to rest" in the dumpster.

Another shocking case of animal mistreatment occurred in October when a pool maintenance worker in California admitted to killing a family's Yorkshire terrier after being caught on camera throwing its body into a trash can. Newsweek previously reported that the family was out of town at the time of the crime, and the dog sitter reported that the dog was missing. After looking at surveillance footage, the family discovered what had happened to their 16-year-old pup.

When the Bells went to city hall to retrieve their dog after being told he was in fact alive, their conversation with authorities was recorded by body cams and retrieved by Fox 31.

Yorkshire Terrier, neglect
Two dog owners were charged with animal neglect after their Yorkshire Terrier was found in a dumpster. This stock photo shows a Yorkshire Terrier. STOWEN SETO/Getty Images

An officer later wrote in a report that the couple appeared emotionless both about having lost a pet or finding out the pet was alive and well.

Animal control also wondered why the dumpster they chose to leave their dog in was 32 miles away from where they lived at the time.

"I was driving around, we were bumming," Robert said in conversation with animal control.

Fox 31 reported that on the day the dog was found, the couple was given three summonses for three city violations: abandoning animals, neglect of animals and cruelty to animals.

In October the two plead guilty to neglect and the judge dismissed the other two charges.

When the dog was initially found, animal control said it appeared as though the dog likely had torn ACLs in both of its hind legs. In the last month, under the care of his new owner, the dog had both ACLs repaired.

Newsweek reached out to the Westminster Police Department for comment.