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Puppies found dumped in trash compactor
compactor puppies.jpg
FILE PHOTO: These puppies were found in a trash compactor at Warren County Sanitation Department on Monday. They escaped being crushed when an employee heard their cries. A third puppy is under the care of a local veterinarian due to injury. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Warren County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a case of animal cruelty after the discovery of three puppies in the Fairground’s Convenience Center compactor on Monday morning.

“I can’t believe someone did that,” said Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts on Tuesday. “Thank the good Lord above that the puppies survived. I don’t see how, but they did. It’s amazing that they made it. Hopefully, the Sheriff’s Department can find out who could be so cruel.”

The puppies are in the care of Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center. According to reports, they are doing fine. 

“I checked on them last night,” said Roberts. “They’re doing well. One had an injury to a paw that required medical care, but it’s going to be fine. I’m told the bone wasn’t broken. It’s amazing that they made it. It’s sad a human would do that.”

The puppies may have spent the entire weekend in the trash compactor. From Friday night until Monday at 8:30 a.m., that compactor was not in use. 

“It’s impossible to know exactly when they were placed in there,” said Roberts. “We stopped using that bin on Friday night, so we feel they were in there at least from Friday to Monday morning. On Monday morning, side operator Jesse Fitts reported hearing something inside the bin. We opened it. One puppy had dug its way to the top of the trash trying to escape being crushed. We started to dig and found another puppy. We freed two.”

A third puppy was discovered by Commissioner Phillip Stout, who had stopped by the center. 

“I’m shocked someone can be so cruel,” said Stout. “It bothers me that anyone is capable of doing such a thing.”

The puppies weren’t heard on Saturday.

“I had to work on a piece of equipment and it’s located right next to that compactor,” said Roberts. “Not sure why they weren’t calling out then. Maybe they were content. Maybe by Monday they got hungry or thirsty or cold. I just don’t know. I do know that when we heard them, we reacted.”

Roberts said a search and recovery was launched in an attempt to locate any other puppies but none were found.

“I, myself, dumped a load at the transfer station and went through a lot of bags and found nothing,” he said. “I also didn’t hear anything. If there had been more puppies, I feel like I would have found them or heard them. It’s 12 tons of garbage, so I cannot say positively that all the puppies were found and they all survived. I just don’t know.”

Warren County Sheriff’s Department is investigating and anyone with information is asked to call 473-7863.