Dog rescued from dumpster after being buried by owners

UTICA, NY (WSYR-TV) – When Chris Thornton and his daughter heard a noise coming from the parking lot of an apartment complex near their Utica home, they decided to investigate.

What they found shocked them: a four-month old puppy buried underneath garbage in a dumpster.

“We knew the dog wasn’t warm,” Thornton said. “His paws [were] cold. And all he kept on doing was yelping.”

The dog’s owners told police they thought the dog was dead when they buried him. They’ve since been charged with a misdemeanor and will appear in court next week.

Animal cruelty investigator William Pulaski, who worked on the case, said he hasn’t seen a dog survive anything like this before.

“If it wasn’t for [Chris and his daughter], this poor little dog would have died,” Pulaski said.

Thornton’s family now hopes to foster the puppy, who’s now being called “Oscar.”

“We’ll love him,” Thornton said. “You don’t discard loved ones. You can’t discard animals. They’re not garbage. Take care of them. If you can’t, pass them along to someone else. Make the call. It doesn’t hurt.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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