NJ Dog Survives
Euthanization And Trash Compaction
by Sherry Morse
In early December a five-year-old female shepherd-lab
mix was discovered - still alive - in the midst of the garbage
in a garbage truck as it was being emptied into the Edgeboro
landfill in East Brunswick.
Ron Barbati of the Perth Amboy Department
of Public Works said the truck had just been emptied of most
of the 29,440 pounds of garbage it carried, when he walked
to the back of the truck to move the dozen or so garbage bags
that had not fallen out.
As he reached for a piece of cardboard, a
dog raised her head from among the garbage.
Shocked, Barbati yelled, "There's a dog in
It turned out that the dog had been brought
to the Perth Amboy animal shelter by a city resident on the
previous day. Animal control officer William Paul had told
her the dog would be euthanized because there was no room
in the shelter.
Paul carried out the euthanization procedure
on the dog, and threw her body into a dumpster.
That night, the dumpster was emptied and its
contents taken to a waste transfer station where the garbage
was packed into trailers to be transferred to the landfill.
After the dog was discovered alive at the
landfill, East Brunswick police and animal control officer
David Blumig were called, and Blumig lassoed the dog to get
her out of the truck.
"She was kind of wagging her tail between
her legs." Barbati said.
After checking her for injuries, Blumig took
the dog to a kennel run by his sister Linda.
In the days since the incident, Linda Blumig
said nearly 60 people have already called her from New Jersey
and surrounding states, offering to adopt the dog.
Several of those people had called thinking
the dog was theirs, she said.
"If people would put a name tag on their
pet, 95 percent of the time they would get the pet back,"
Ms. Blumig commented.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals (SPCA) and the Perth Amboy police are investigating
the incident to determine if any criminal or disciplinary
charges should be filed. The dog will not be adopted out until
the investigation into the incident is complete.
"Obviously it's a miracle," said SPCA
officer Michael Iovine. "The dog was euthanized with drugs,
presumed dead, put into a plastic bag and then a trash compactor
and compressed, and survived that."
"It's just amazing it lived through
that whole mess," he remarked.
State officials also plan to investigate Paul's
"This horrible incident is unfortunate
and the Department of Health and Senior Services will do everything
within its authority to investigate, identify what occurred
and put into place measures to prevent another incident of
this type," Department of Health and Senior Services spokesperson
Donna Leusner said.
Paul said in an interview with the SPCA that
he followed proper procedure, giving the dog one shot to sedate
her and another to stop her heart before listening with a
stethoscope for a heartbeat.
Under New Jersey state law, throwing a euthanized
dog in the trash is legal.
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.