SAN ANTONIO – A 5-year-old Labrador retriever named Millie is recovering after she was found abandoned Wednesday in a West Side dumpster, Animal Care Services said.
ACS said a good Samaritan found the dog in the dumpster at Tampico Street and Sandy Court and called 311.
Millie was curled up under bags of trash, pizza boxes, empty soda cans and other trash, the agency said.
An ACS officer pulled the dog out of the dumpster. She was suffering from heat stroke and was covered in flies.
ACS Field Operations Supervisor Audra Houghton estimated the dog would have died had she been in the dumpster for another half-hour or hour longer.
"She was alive. She was breathing. She was panting very heavily, but she wasn't responsive to us at all. She didn't know we were there," Houghton said.
In the meantime, Millie isn't out of the woods. As of Thursday morning, she was hooked up to an IV, taking fluids, pain medication and antibiotics. Until she's fully stable, ACS won't be able to see what other medical issues she might have.
"There could be neurological issues for the rest of her life," ACS Clinic Manager Matt Llewellyn said. "We don't know how long she had been in there before that call came in."
Judging from her size, coat condition and the collar she came in with, ACS thinks the dog has an owner. However, her collar had no tags, and she had no microchip.
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If ACS can't find the owner, workers want Millie to be able to find a new home.
"(The) ultimate hope is to get her tail wagging again and (her) on the kennel floor so someone comes and sees her, and (we) get her into a loving home," Llewellyn said.
Even if Millie recovers, it could still be a long road to adoption.
It's not clear how the dog wound up in the dumpster, but ACS believes someone probably left her there. That person could face a felony animal torture charge, Hougthon said. Anyone with information on a possible owner is asked to call 311.