MUNCIE, Ind. - A garbage collector in Muncie is credited with saving the life of a puppy found thrown out with the trash.
Mike Upchurch, a Muncie Sanitary District employee, was throwing trash into his truck Wednesday morning when he said he heard a whimpering noise.
When he opened one of the bags, he found a 6-week-old puppy, alive but shivering and covered in garbage.
Upchurch warmed the puppy in the truck's cab and took it back to the sanitary district's facility, where employees washed and fed the dog while waiting for animal control officers.
The puppy was near starving, but it has recovering well after getting a meal and fluids, officials at the Muncie Animal Shelter said.
"This is an extremely lucky puppy because it's just amazing that (Upchurch) actually heard that over the loud truck and all the other traffic," Phil Peckinpaugh, director of the Muncie Animal Shelter, told the Star Press. "It's extremely lucky that it wasn't put into the truck and put into the compactor."
The woman accused of putting the puppy in the trash, whose name was not released Thursday, has been cited and could face criminal charges, shelter officials said.
She told authorities that she thought the dog was dead when she threw it away, and also admitted to discarding other puppies in the same fashion.
"We were only able to find this alive puppy, but she admitted to throwing others away, maybe two or three," Peckinpaugh told the newspaper. "The previous litter before this litter of puppies was also discarded in the trash can."
But there will be a happy ending for the puppy rescued by Upchurch -- he's officially adopted the puppy, who he named Garby.
RTV6 has a reporter speaking with Upchurch and visiting with Garby this afternoon, so check back for updates and pictures!