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Madison Heights

Dog rescued from trash compactor

Nursed back to health, ‘Sweetie’ needs loving home

July 19, 2013

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Sweetie, a young pit bull/boxer mix, has made a full recovery since she was discovered starving in a trash compactor. She is very affectionate and in need of a home.

MADISON HEIGHTS — Mike O’Halloran remembers the day he met Sweetie.

It was around 6 a.m. June 20, at Allied Bindery, south of 14 Mile and east of John R. His coworker went to load up the trash compactor — only to find a dog inside.

She was a young pit bull/boxer mix, terrified and starving. She was sitting at eye level on the ledge inside the trash compactor. The device had been closed, so there was no way the dog could’ve climbed inside.

O’Halloran suspects someone did it intentionally, since the only other way the dog could’ve made it inside is on one of the compactor’s trips to the landfill. That would’ve been weeks prior to her discovery, making it unlikely.

“You could see her ribs,” said O’Halloran, a Macomb Township resident. “It’s sad to think how pathetic some people must be. There are better ways to give up an animal.” 

The dog flinched away in fear when they reached in. The employees of Allied Bindery weren’t sure what to do — but they weren’t about to give up.

Madison Heights Animal Control was closed at the time, so they tried calling police.  Officer Edward Malak showed up.

“We were trying to figure out how to get her out, since she was terrified, putting her head down when we reached in,” O’Halloran said. “In the end, one of the employees tried reaching in again, and managed to pull her out.”

Since then, the dog — nicknamed Sweetie for her sweet personality — has been at the Madison Heights Animal Shelter. She has made a full recovery.

According to Animal Control Officer Suzette Gysel, Sweetie had to be fed four to five handful-sized servings of boiled chicken and rice a day — something very bland and easy on the stomach. She also had bad diarrhea for a while, since her body wasn’t used to absorbing food. 

Now Sweetie is all fattened up with no more potty problems. She is up to date on shots and tested negative for heartworms. She will be spayed once a home is found.

“I think she was probably someone’s pet at some point,” Gysel said. “She has a friendly disposition and knows how to sit, how to shake paws, how to lie down. She likes going for walks, going for rides in the car. She likes to play, and she likes other dogs — she has a couple of boyfriends here at the shelter. She needs a family that has as much energy as her. She’s been around our junior volunteers; she’s affectionate with children. She’s probably not well-suited for toddlers, though, with all of her energy.”

Susan Wichmann, a Madison Heights resident, shelter volunteer, and board member of Silver Lake Animal Rescue League, has spent a lot of time with Sweetie and says she would make a wonderful pet.

“She’s a young dog, probably under a year. She’s very smart and follows directions well. She’d be a great agility dog, climbing stairs, jumping on platforms — anything where praise is rewarding her,” Wichmann said. “She’s trying to please you and do things that will get her a, ‘Good girl.’ She wants positive reinforcement.

“She’d be great with an active family — someone who loves to jog or who will spend time exercising her — because she does love to run and twirl in circles,” Wichmann added. “She’ll also chase sticks. I haven’t trained her to bring them back, though. Not yet!”

Wichmann said that the shelter is hoping to find Sweetie a foster home or “forever home” as soon as possible, so they can free up space to save even more animals.

Gysel said the employees of Allied Bindery should be commended for their actions.

“Some people may have just turned around and walked away, or shooed her away, but the people (at Allied Bindery) were very concerned for her, and they wanted to make sure the dog was cared for,” Gysel said. “They deserve a pat on the back for doing the right thing.”

If you are interested in giving Sweetie a loving home, contact the Madison Heights Animal Shelter at (248) 837-2784.

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