Many dogs that are abandoned on the streets are thrown out like trash, but this stray dog found safety and comfort in an unusual place, and it has propelled his story to internet fame.
When calls came in last month about a skinny dog without any identification loose on the streets of Lexington, Kentucky, an animal control officer with the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care & Control headed out to investigate.
What she discovered was an incredibly sweet and terribly shy dog who’d been taking refuge inside a tipped-over garbage bin. The dog appeared to be a reddish-brown pit bull mix of some sort and according to WKYT-TV was about 2 years old. It was clear from his behavior that he wanted to trust but was afraid.
He would creep toward the animal control officer, tail wagging furiously, but then dart back to the safety of the trash can. Eventually, the officer was able to secure him, and it became clear that there was only one suitable name for him: “Oscar.”
“We received a call last month for a dog who was hiding inside a trash can,” the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care & Control posted on Facebook. “When our officer arrived, this sweet but timid dog would come up to greet her but then dart right back to the trash can. Most stray dogs run back to their home when they are scared, but this cutie was perfectly content to stay inside the trash can which made him feel safe and warm.
“It took some time and lots of treats, but our officer finally gained his trust and he allowed her to take him to our facility. After no one came forward missing him, our officers decided his name should be ‘Oscar’ after Oscar the Grouch.
“Oscar quickly became a staff favorite and we fostered him in our offices for a few days. During this time we thought it was funny he would ‘guard the trash’ and get into the office trash cans!”
Given the pup’s affinity for all things trash, the group decided to plan an extra-special outing — but this time, instead of being in a trash can, Oscar got to sit in the cab of a garbage truck.
“We decided to take him for a ‘day out’ to his favorite place… sanitation!” the post continued. “There he met a sanitation worker named Larry who let him get into his truck for a few photos. Oscar had such a great time!”
Oscar was moved to the Lexington Humane Society, where he has been cared for and is now available for adoption.
The humane society assures prospective adopters that his name is solely due to his love of trash and trash cans, and not because he’s a grouch.
“He is timid, but he’s very sweet,” Jai Hamilton, the animal control officer who brought Oscar in, told WKYT-TV. “He’s not shown any aggression to anyone from the shelter or any other animals. He’s just shy. He doesn’t know how to be a dog. He’s learning.”
The humane society is calling the pup’s story “From Trash to Treasure,” and they are looking for someone who will value him more than his previous owner appears to have.
“This sweet boy had a rough start to life,” the Lexington Humane Society posted. “He was underweight and covered in scars when he came into our care. While he is now receiving the best care possible thanks to the staff at LHS, Oscar will still have some of those scars — some visible and some invisible.
“What we can promise him is he will never have to resort to living in a trash can again. Whether he was seeking shelter from severe weather or abuse, or if someone really did discard him like he was trash, that part of his story is behind him. Oscar is an affectionate boy who now LOVES attention and is eager to make new friends. We know someone will soon adopt him and treat him like a true treasure.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.