The Recology employee said he's never seen anything like it. He was at the conveyor belt sorting material when he saw something moving inside a black, plastic bag.
"Maybe there was some other trash or some other material in it, and I can see the puppy was trying to crawl out the bag," said Recology employee Greg Foster.
Foster stopped the line immediately when he saw the 10-week old poodle moving on the conveyor belt. He says she was wet, shaking and bleeding. She had been through quite an ordeal, somehow ending up in a debris box before being transported to the Recology recycling plant.
"It had to be loaded by our forklift driver and also go through what we call the shaker, in which we try to shake the debris like the dirt and little styrofoam and stuff like that and it came down the line eventually," said Foster.
The puppy is now in the care of San Francisco Animal Care and Control where workers have called her Gem. Officers say Gem is recovering well from the wounds they found on her neck. They also noticed lameness in her hind legs, but she appears to be moving just fine now. The big question is how she got her injuries and how she ended up in the debris box.
"And that's what we're working with Recology trying to track, see if they can track which truck she came in on by reviewing their camera system or see if we know what neighborhood that she came from," said SF Animal Care and Control Capt. Le-Ellis Brown.
Officers are also hoping to get tips from members of the public, many of whom have already expressed interest in adopting gem. Foster is happy to hear that.
"Hopefully it can go to a good home and be well taken care of and be somebody's best friend," said Foster.
Monday morning update:
San Francisco animal control officials have received hundreds of calls from people wanting to adopt Gem. She is expected to make a full recovery and could be adopted next week through a lottery.