A tiny poodle puppy was found trembling and whimpering in a plastic trash bag on a conveyor belt at a San Francisco recycling facility.
Workers at the plant saw movement in the bag and quickly stopped the belt. They opened it to find an adorable --but scared and injured-- 10-week-old puppy that had apparently been thrown away on Friday, according to ABC Local News.
"Maybe there was some other trash or some other material in it, and I can see the puppy was trying to crawl out the bag," Recology employee Greg Foster told reporters.
He says she was wet, shaking and bleeding.
"It had to be loaded by our forklift driver and also go through what we call the shaker, in which we try to shake the debris like the dirt and little Styrofoam and stuff like that and it came down the line eventually," said Foster.
Veterinarians at the San Francisco Animal Care Center, where Gem is recovering, said the tiny pup had serious wounds all over her throat and what appeared to be bite marks on the back of her neck.
At first she was experiencing some lameness in her back legs, but she now appears to be moving just fine, officials say. The big question is how she got her injuries and how she ended up in the debris box.
San Francisco Care and Control Captain Leo Ellis Brown told KGO-TV that the agency is working with Recology to try to locate the neighborhood and possibly even the exact location where Gem was picked up through reviewing information recorded by surveillance cameras.
Hundreds of people have reportedly contacted the agency to inquire about Gem and many have asked to adopt her. Officials say she is expected to make a full recovery. Gem could be ready as early as next week for a new home where she will be treasured forever.
San Francisco Animal Care has an ongoing investigation.