Workers at a San Francisco recycling plant were surprised to see something moving inside a black, plastic bag. Inside, was a 10-week-old puppy that appeared to have been thrown away.
The apricot poodle was found on a trash sorting conveyor belt by recycling center workers on Saturday. Named “Gem,” the puppy has since been brought to San Francisco Animal Care and Control, where she's being nursed back to health, KTVU reports.
"We dubbed her Gem because she's like a diamond in the rough," animal control officer Capt. Lee Ellis Brown, said. "She's a precious little gem that came from the trash."
Gem was found with bite marks on her neck, lameness in her legs and discharge from her ears. She's expected to survive. "Veterinary staff believes she sustained most of her injuries before ending up at the recycling center," Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for San Francisco Animal Care and Control, told the San Francisco Examiner.
"Some are consistent with bite wounds, but we're still not sure. So our veterinarian has examined her and we're just waiting," Brown said.
Officials speculate the dog traveled in a collection truck to the San Francisco Recology transfer station, where she was unloaded along with mounds of trash.
Officials say Gem was deliberately disposed. "It had to go into a dumpster by someone placing her there," Brown said.
"We could tell the puppy was still moving and it was trying to crawl out of the bag itself," Recology material handler Gregory Foster said. "Luckily we stopped the line in time before it actually fell off the belt into the pit."
Brown said investigators are looking to pinpoint the neighborhood Gem may have come from and her owner. Authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward.
"We're just looking for answers," Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I've been working here 17 years. This is a first."