A sanitation worker discovered a dog in a Fairfield County dumpster Friday morning, just as the trash was being crushed and hauled off to a landfill.
The dog was rescued from behind the Rooster's on Memorial Drive in Lancaster.
Rooster's manager Dusti Thompson-Wears said the kitchen staff was opening up for the morning when a sanitation worker rushed in with the small dachshund.
"We brought him inside, and I got him one of our Rooster's T-shirts and wrapped him up, just because he was shivering and scared," said Thompson-Wears.
The small dog was found underneath piles of trash, just moments from being crushed.
"All I could think about was had the sanitation worker not found the dog, or saw the dog moving," said Rooster's worker Jena Gilbert.
The restaurant staff called the Fairfield Area Humane Society, which has determined the dog was placed in the dumpster. He is too small to climb in by himself.
The Rooster's has 24-hour video surveillance, but unfortunately in this case, the camera is pointed toward the parking lot and away from the dumpster.
Humane agents say the dog, who they're calling Dusty to thank the Rooster's manager for her kindness, is in good physical condition.
"Very sweet little dog. I think he's missing his home right now, he's a little whiny. But he's had a rough morning, so I can't really blame him," Fairfield Area Humane Agent Bill Huffman said.
They believe the dog has an owner, and may have accidentally gotten loose and was placed in the dumpster by someone else.
For now, Dusty is being kept safe at the shelter, after a narrow escape from harm's way.
"Somebody needs to be punished for doing this. It's not O.K. to do this to an animal," said Gilbert.
Humane agents say Dusty will be treated as a stray, monitored and held for 72 hours, before he is available for adoption.
The Fairfield Area shelter is operating at capacity and there are dozens of dogs and cats available for adoption right now.