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Valley man discovers dogs in trash bag by Walmart dumpster

Dogs found in Mesa dumpster
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 16:53:45-04

MESA, AZ — UPDATE: Dogs found tied up and trashed in a valley dumpster are now ready for adoption.

Those interested in adopting the dogs can contact the Mangy Mutt Rescue at l 602-326-3272 call/text


Tired, hungry, and dehydrated. That is how Phillip Merrell describes three Chihuahua-Dachshund mix dogs he found tied up and inside a trash bag behind a Walmart store in Mesa earlier this week.

Merrell, who works near Val Vista Drive and Southern Avenue, was near the dumpsters on Monday when he saw a trash bag move. He checked it out and found three dogs inside.

He took the pups home to care for them until Todd Born, of Mangy Mutt Rescue, showed up to take them in.

"The pups were in good shape, really hungry and thirsty, and they suffered from a bit of heat exhaustion, but overall in good shape," said Born. "Thankfully, they weren't in there too long."

He said he believes the dogs may be from the same family as they appear to share a bond with one another.

He also hopes that by getting the dogs' pictures out there, someone may know who was responsible for dumping them in the trash.

"I'd like to do the same to them, but, realistically, if we can educate the public on other options of what they can do with animals that are in their care or that come across as strays, that probably would be our best avenue of action," he said.

The dogs are scheduled to see the vet on Wednesday morning
and will be put up for adoption soon.

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Human Society said it is a crime to dump dogs in the trash and, if found, those responsible could be charged with animal cruelty.

If you are unable to care for an animal, there are options out there, including finding an animal rescue, organization, or shelter that is able to take them in and care for them.

The website,, has a number of organizations and resources.