Dog Found in Dumpster Gets Second Chance at Life

The Shih Tzu may have been tossed in the trash or climbed into the dumpster in search of food

A dog’s whimpering led to his rescue from a dumpster in Chula Vista and now, with the help of doctors, the abandoned pup is on the mend.

Hemingway was found Jan. 13 nearly hairless, a victim of months-long neglect according to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. The 1-year-old Shih Tzu was infested with fleas, disease, and malnourished.

He may have been tossed in the trash or climbed into the dumpster in search of food, RCHS spokesperson John Van Zante told NBC 7.

"This is something that happened over a period of months,” Van Zante said referring to the dog’s bacterial and fungal infections.

Hemingway was first treated by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services in Bonita and is now on five medications and getting constant care from a foster family. After three more weeks of healing, he may be ready for a forever family.

"He was nervous and he shook and he just wasn't sure whether he should trust people. Now even though we give him baths he's starting to come out of his shell,” Van Zante said. “We're finding out he's not just a scared dog. He's a really great dog with a good personality.”

Throwing away a puppy is never the solution especially with 180 rescue shelters in San Diego County, Van Zante adds.

While it seems no one at the humane society knows how the dog got his name, one staff member recalls the famous quote “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

"That's our hope for Hemingway,” RCHS Medical Director Kathy Zerkle said in a statement. “That the broken places will heal strong and he'll find the loving family that he deserves."

For more information visit the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to

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