UTICA, N.Y -- All odds were against a 5-month-old puppy, but luck was on his side this past weekend.
"If it wasn't for these people getting involved when they heard this dog out screaming in a dumpster, we wouldn't have the happy ending that we do today," said Bill Pulaski, an animal cruelty investigator.
Oscar, as he's been affectionately named, was found by Utica residents Christopher Thorton and his daughter. They'd heard a dog yelping for hours near their home, and when they went to investigate, they found the small dachshund barely moving inside two sealed garbage bags.
"The dog wasn't well. His paws [were] cold, his tongue was purple and that's all he kept doing, was yelping no matter what," said Thorton.
Thorton immediately called 911, and the case was turned over to the Central New York's SPCA investigative team.
"In the course of our investigation, we found out that there was a call made to the 911 center at approximately 6 a.m., that same Saturday morning from a female, stating that she had a puppy and she couldn't provide care for it anymore," said Pulaski.
They connected the dots and found the two individuals they say disposed of the dog. Investigators say the suspects believed the dog was dead at the time, but say it never had to get to that point.
"Please make a phone call, make a phone call to shelters, make a phone call to us. Don't wait until the situation gets out of hand," said Pulaski.
Oscar is now a happy and healthy puppy.
"When given an opportunity, I would like to bring him into our home, because we'll love him. I mean, we don't discard loved ones," said Thorton.
A man and woman have been arrested and charged with misdemeanor offenses, animal cruelty and abandonment. They were given an appearance ticket and are expected to be in Utica City Court next Thursday.
If you know of any cases of animal abuse, you are asked to call the SPCA at (315) 454-3469.