Shortly after someone left her apartment Wednesday night, Donna Coffey noticed her dog, Dallas, was missing.

She suspects when that person left that the dog went out with them.

On Thursday night, the Seymour Police Department posted on Facebook about a dog that was found in a Dumpster behind a business in the 100 block of East Tipton Street, which is just a couple of blocks from Coffey’s apartment.

One of the pictures showed Officer Ryan Cherry giving the dog a bath at the Humane Society of Jackson County in Seymour.

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Coffey’s sister saw the post and let her know Dallas had been found.

On Friday, Coffey was reunited with her four-legged companion.

“I’m glad they found my dog. I really am. I sure appreciate it,” she said. “I am very proud of the teamwork that they did to get him back and found him safe and sound and not hurt.”

When she found out Dallas was put in a Dumpster, Coffey said she couldn’t believe someone would do that to an animal.

“That’s cruel how people do things,” she said. “If you know who it belongs to, you should bring it right back. Whoever it is should be charged for it and held accountable for it. That’s not right to do something like that.”

Coffey said she may know who put her dog in the Dumpster.

Stopping by the store, Taqueria La Mejor, Saturday to talk to the employees, she found out there is a video camera behind the building.

Cherry said he would check with the store owner to see if the surveillance goes back to the area of the Dumpsters.

“This area was also very dark, not a whole lot of lighting nearby,” he said. “The only other thing that could help in this case is if someone saw the person putting the dog in the Dumpster.”

The person responsible for the incident could possibly face a charge of cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor, Cherry said.

Someone from the store called police around 8:35 p.m. Thursday saying a dog was in a Dumpster. When Cherry arrived at the store, he was led to the Dumpster, shined a light inside of it and saw the dog.

“My initial thoughts were, ‘Who would throw a dog in a Dumpster?’ And also, ‘Due to how cold it was outside and not knowing how long the dog had been in the Dumpster, is the dog still alive?'” Cherry said.

One of the employees crawled through a small opening on the side of the Dumpster, picked the dog up and placed it in a carrier.

The dog was still alive but shivering cold and covered in dirt and sludge, Cherry said.

“By sludge, I mean like a nasty, wet and smelly concoction of old food and garbage from the restaurant and grocery store,” he said.

Cherry said it appears someone put the dog in the Dumpster.

“The height of the door on the side of the Dumpster was pretty high for this small of a dog to be able to jump in; however, it is entirely possible that the dog jumped in, looking for food possibly,” he said.

Cherry transported the dog to the Humane Society. It took about 20 minutes for him and Cpl. Devin Cornwell to clean the dog off, dry him off and get him food, water and a blanket.

Photos of the dog were posted on the police department’s Facebook page, receiving more than 420 comments, 1,200 reactions and 1,300 shares.

Glancing at some of the comments, Cherry said many people were upset someone would place an animal in a Dumpster, and he and Cornwell also received thanks for helping the dog. Some even were interested in adopting the dog.

“Myself and Cpl. Cornwell were just doing our job,” Cherry said. “Even though some may say that bathing a dog found in a Dumpster isn’t a cop’s responsibility, it was the right thing to do. We would have felt terrible leaving the dog at the Humane Society in the condition that he was in when we found him.”

Cherry said Dallas was very timid during their interaction with him, but when he was clean and put in the kennel, he started wagging his tail.

“It was a good feeling to be able to clean him up, give him a warm place to stay out of the cold and food and water,” Cherry said.

Unfortunately, Cherry said in his line of work, he sees a lot of sad and disturbing things, and this was just another one of those situations.

Fortunately, Coffey’s sister saw the post and recognized the dog, and Dallas was reunited with his owner.

How to help

The Seymour Police Department is investigating the discovery of a small dog found in the Dumpster of a business in the 100 block of East Tipton Street on Thursday night.

The dog was returned to its owner Friday.

Anyone with information on the person(s) responsible should contact the police department at 812-522-1234 in reference to case number 18-S02908.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7080.