WHITESTOWN — A dog left to die in a Whitestown dumpster now has a forever home – thanks to the Whitestown Police officer who saved him.
The dog was found alive and in good condition earlier this month. But Michelle Atkinson with the Humane Society for Boone County said Ray still “seems a little unsure of things.”
Atkinson brought him back to the “scene of the crime,” a housing development still under construction.
“I asked him, ‘Does this look familiar to you?’ He’s not pulling me one way or another to say ‘I live over there’,” she said.
Atkinson doesn’t know where Ray lived, just where he was found.
“A neighbor heard barking, which is hard to believe out here, and contacted police, but it was raining and so hopefully he wasn’t there very long, hopefully he was scared enough that he was saying ‘Hey! I’m in here’,” she said.
When police arrived, they found Ray at the bottom of the dumpster, curled up in the corner, lying atop a pile of trash.
Atkinson said, “I suppose if he was super-scared, he could have found a way in.”
But she knows that’s probably not what happened. Ray is a senior dog, at least eight years old. Scaling the the nearly six-foot-high dumpster would have been quite a feat — even if you have four paws.
“The snap judgment would be someone threw him in there, because they didn’t want him anymore,” Atkinson said.
Lucky for Ray, that neighbor heard him.
Whitestown Assistant Town Manager Tanya Sumner said, “I would like to think it was not one of our own residents, knowing the outrage I’ve heard in a short amount of time around town.”
Atkinson said Ray “seems healthy, his nails are clean, he’s not underweight and he’s neutered which is rare in a stray or dumped dog.”
It could have ended differently for Ray, but Atkinson says it should never have to.
“That’s the thing with Facebook, Google, you can find solutions, you can call and tell someone you can’t do it, you need to have someone come and pick up a dog,” she said.
She notes if Ray was intentionally dumped and the culprit was caught, he or she could face charges of animal neglect or cruelty but finding that person is probably a longshot. Ray may also have been stolen and dumped by someone other than his owner. Because of that, the Humane Society waited seven days before putting him up for adoption.