An 8-week-old pit-bull mix is lucky to be alive after someone put him in a plastic grocery bag and threw him in the garbage at a local park.
Now named Oscar, for the "Sesame Street" character who lives in a trash can, the discarded puppy is at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, where he is receiving veterinary care for an injured paw.
A man having lunch at Reid Park found the puppy earlier this month.
"He heard squealing and he didn't think anything about it until he went to throw his bag away and saw the bag moving," Samantha Esquivel, spokeswoman for the shelter, said of the man who rescued the puppy and brought him to the Humane Society.
The pup was abandoned during one of the coldest weeks so far this winter. Esquivel said Oscar likely would have died had the good Samaritan not found him.
"It was mid-January, when temperatures were ice cold and Oscar's chances of survival were slim to none," Esquivel said. "The pup also has a deformed back foot; he is missing bones in his foot, which causes his foot to appear much different than normal. The missing bones are most likely the result of trauma."
Damage to the puppy's paw was caused because it was either tied or tangled for an extended period of time, she said.
Oscar will be available for adoption after additional veterinary care.
Police and members of the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona are seeking information on the person who left Oscar in the trash. Dumping an animal is classified as cruelty and it is a crime, Esquivel said.
Anyone with information should call 88-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.
Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4191.