Neighbors believe someone hit the Maltese with a car and put the pooch inside the receptacle

By Amy Jamieson
Updated November 06, 2015 08:09 PM

A dog named Princess is recovering after Phoenix residents found her injured and laying in a dumpster.

The Maltese was discovered over the weekend by a woman named Madison Paolacci, who was visiting her in-laws when a neighbor knocked frantically on the door, KPHO News 5 reports.

“She said when she was throwing away trash in the dumpster, she saw something move, and there was a little dog at the bottom of the dumpster,” Paolacci said. “We could tell right away the dog was hurt. She wouldn’t get out of the dumpster. We slowly tipped it over. We had to coerce her to come out.”

Paolacci doesn’t know how long the dog — who seemed to have recently had a haircut — was laying in the dumpster, covered in trash bags. They went door to door and posted fliers about the found dog, but no one has come forward yet.

“We think someone hit her. We think either she was knocked unconscious or badly hurt, and the person didn’t want to deal with it and stuffed her in the garbage can,” she said. “Or if she was knocked unconscious maybe they thought the dog died and put her in the garbage can. Either way it’s inhumane to do it.”

Princess’ injuries are painful ones. “The hip bone is out of socket,” said Ashliegh Goebel with the Arizona Humane Society, where the pup was named. “With the leg it’s going to need to be surgically repaired.”

Paolacci told KPHO News her in-laws will adopt Princess, who underwent surgery Thursday, if owners don’t come forward.