Landfill worker saves tortured dog
It could have easily been a horrible tragedy, but instead there was a happy ending as a dog, separated from its Wellington family, was finally reunited with its owners after a harrowing ordeal.
“What a happy ending this one had, but it was quite tragic at the time the story broke,” said Lorie Wilber, from Partners With Paws.
Last Thursday, at the Republic Services landfill, a worker on a bulldozer saw movement in a pile of trash he was preparing to move with the machinery. The operator called one of his coworkers, Dion Granger, and told him that he thought there was a dog in the trash.
“He called me to see if I could get it out of there because I’m the animal guy around here. I walked up the side of the hill, and here’s this little wiener dog running down, and he looked like he had a vest and a leash on,” Granger said. “When I got close to him, I realized it wasn’t; someone had wrapped him in tape. It looked like they wrapped him like he was a mummy.”
Once the dachshund saw Granger, he tried to walk over to him. Granger said the dog was covered in red from a cut on his ear as well as some paint that may have been thrown away in the same dumpster as the dog.
“I went up and caught him and brought him down to the shop. We cut the tape off of him. We tried to be easy, but you know how that works,” Granger said. “The little guy was a real trooper. For as bad of shape as he was in, he did really good with us.”
The workers immediately called the Oberlin Animal Hospital, who in turn called Vera Opel, from the Oasis animal shelter.
“While waiting for Vera to pick up the dog, the guys worked gently to remove the tape,” Wilber said. “There were actual stripe marks on his fur and a lot of ‘glue’ residue from the tape.”
The dog was taken to the veterinarian clinic where work was done on him immediately. The dog suffered from an ear injury, as well as a toe injury, from the ordeal.
Oasis paid the $400 bill for the treatment, for which Wilber said she is seeking donations to help cover the cost. So far, $150 has been donated to help defray the cost.
“When the story broke that the dog was found, I did a mass appeal on my Canine/Feline Grapevine, (an e-mail cross post group) and my Partners With Paws of Lorain County Facebook page,” Wilber said.
The following day, after work, Granger stopped at the vet clinic to see how the dog was doing.
“I went up and checked on him the following night after they did surgery on him,” Granger said. “Actually, I considered adopting him.”
The news prompted a story from an area newspaper, which ran a photo of the dog with the story.
Meanwhile, in Wellington, a family was searching for their dog, who had gone missing Thursday morning, a dachshund named Charlie.
“We’re not really sure what happened. I let him out to go to the bathroom. When I came out to get him, he wasn’t even in the yard,” the owner’s dog said. “The gates were closed, but he was just gone.”
She and her husband spent the next two days driving around town, going door to door, and talking with friends and neighbors to see if anyone had seen Charlie. On Saturday, a friend called them and said that Charlie was in the newspaper.
“When I looked in the paper, it was unbelievable. Immediately, I called Oberlin Animal Hospital, which is actually our vet,” the man said.
He drove to Oberlin to identify Charlie.
“Vera was present, when the owner came to ID the dog, she knew it was their dog, as Charlie immediately reacted to his name and went crazy on the owner giving him kisses and wagging his tail like crazy,” Wilber said.
“I lost it,” the owner said. “I just broke down and went to my knees.”
According to the couple, the Wellington Police Department is conducting an investigation to try to determine who took Charlie, wrapped him in tape, and threw him in a dumpster.
Charlie is now back home, and recovering from his injuries. The family said he’s settled back into his normal routine, for the most part.
“He doesn’t go outside now, unless one of us are with him. Even at night, if he has to go to the bathroom before he goes to bed, we’re with him,” the woman said.
Granger said the story luckily has a happy ending, and can’t believe it didn’t end tragically.
“There’s 400 trucks a day that dump at the landfill, and for him to come out of one of those trucks, with four to eight machines in that trash at any given time, is amazing. I can’t believe they saw him,” he said.
The Wellington couple said they want to thank Granger for saving their family friend, and they, along with Wilber, say he is a hero.
Editor’s note: The family who owns Charlie has asked us not to identify them for fear of retaliation from the perpetrators of this crime. We agreed; anyone who would do this to an animal should be considered dangerous.