When one passerby heard unnerving noises coming from a dumpster, she couldn’t simply walk on. So, she stopped what she was doing to take a look inside. But when she did so, what she found within the scorching container turned her stomach.
Mesquite, Texas, is a nice place to live if you love the sun and heat. In fact, on average, the city enjoys 233 sunny days each year. However, July is by far the warmest month of all there. The highest ever temperature in the area was recorded in July 1980, for instance, when thermometers soared to 112 °F.
In July 2017, meanwhile, the residents of Mesquite were enjoying their usual sizzling summer. It was 91 °F, in fact, so one woman had chosen to walk her dog in the morning to miss the midday heat. But when she headed past the Mesquite Independent School District offices near Towne Crossing Boulevard, something stopped her in her tracks.
Coming from a dumpster outside of the office block was the sound of whimpering. Naturally, the noise worried the concerned citizen; she therefore put her dog walk on hold and decided to peep into the garbage receptacle. And what she found inside was completely despicable.
That’s because a frightened little puppy was sitting in the dumpster. And while the passerby had no idea how long the poor animal had been there, she nevertheless knew he needed help. As a result, she called Mesquite Animal Services and asked for some support.
The officer who responded to the lady’s urgent call, as it turned out, was Morgan Ramsey. When she arrived on the scene, moreover, she quickly found the black and white puppy at the bottom of the dumpster. “He looked like he was probably a little bit relieved to see somebody ’cause he was in the dumpster,” she explained to Fox 4 in July 2017.
And, given where she found the pup, she decided that only one name was suitable for him. “I named him after Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, who lives in the trash can,” Ramsey added. “[But] the Grouch part probably doesn’t fit him because he’s so happy.”
Then she took Oscar back to the city shelter, where staff determined that he was around two to three months of age. Furthermore, they believed he was most likely a pit bull mix. And, from their experience, they concluded that the dog probably hadn’t gotten into the dumpster by accident.
Instead, animal services officers figured that someone had dumped Oscar there. That person had shown no regard for the puppy’s safety, either, as he could have easily wilted in the heat. “There was no water in the dumpster for him,” shelter manager Jeanne Saadi said to Fox 4. “It’s a metal compartment that’s going to get the heat and hold onto the heat.”
Luckily, though, the kind stranger found Oscar before any harm could come to him. And as a result, animal services decided not to treat his situation as a case of neglect. “Not necessarily was it a malicious act. We don’t want to make those judgments,” Saadi added.
Furthermore, the shelter wants to provide hope to animals without focusing on their tragic pasts. “We want to be the ones [who] do the follow-up care and give them a better future,” Saadi explained. And, as it happens, Oscar’s story may have allowed them to help more dogs than ever before.
How? Well, following Oscar’s rescue, Mesquite Texas City Hall posted an update on the dog on its Facebook page. “Oscar is now resting comfortably at the shelter,” it read. “He will be held for observation and for a 72-hour stray hold period and then will be available for adoption.”
The post was accompanied by an adorable image of little Oscar standing on a table and wearing a neckerchief, and it didn’t take long for the update to go viral on social media. Indeed, it has since clocked up almost 900 reactions and more than 400 shares, meaning that more people than ever before are likely to know about Mesquite Animal Services and what they do for unlucky canines.
The darling doggy was also inundated with kind comments from strangers who wished him a bright future. “What a cute little guy! I just don’t understand people throwing their pets away like trash. I hope Oscar finds a good home soon,” read one of many.
The lucky pup also received countless adoption offers. So, just days after he arrived at the shelter, Oscar was almost ready to go to his forever home. But firstly staff had to choose the perfect match for him out of around eight suitable candidates.
In the end, though, it was the Venturas who lucked out and got to take Oscar home. Mesquite Texas City Hall announced the happy news on its Facebook page at the end of July 2017. And the puppy’s legion of fans couldn’t have been happier for him.
“Oscar the dumpster puppy got his happy ending today,” the post read. “The Ventura family adopted him yesterday and he went home after his neuter surgery today. We are so grateful for all the positive attention Oscar received and hope his story will inspire others to adopt a shelter pet this weekend.”
And, understandably, the announcement was met with a warm reaction online. “I don’t know who’s more lucky – Oscar or his new family,” one user wrote. Meanwhile, another added, “Oh, that puppy is going to be so loved! They all look so happy.”
To satisfy the dog’s many fans, moreover, his new owner Edwin A. Ventura later returned to the post with an update. In it, he posted a picture of his pet looking settled in his new home. “Well, here’s ‘Oscar’ one week later,” he simply wrote.
But although the Venturas got to take Oscar home, many more families who were interested in him were not so lucky. However, Saadi said that this could be good news for the countless other shelter dogs out there. “The outpouring of support this one story has gotten from all over the country has been great,” she told Fox 4. “We want to build on those kinds of outcomes.”