Keen Eye of Garbage Truck Driver Saves Dog on Misadventure

Kenneth Perkins, who drives for Austin Recycles got quite a surprise on his route last week. As the driver was emptying a trash cart into the back of his truck, he caught movement in the camera. He noticed that whatever was in there was bigger than the more common occurrence of rats, and upon closer inspection, he noticed a tail.  He immediately hopped out to go investigate and that’s when he saw the dog looking down at him from the hopper.


Rat terrier in garbage truck
Photo Credit Austin Fire Department/Lt Buck Johnson

He called dispatch who called the local fire department. Upon their arrival it took AFD about 10 minutes to get the dog to safety.

Perkins breathed a huge sigh of relief as the dog was rescued. He noted how incredibly lucky she was to have been spotted because “that trash, it compacts constantly.”

Sara Coon, an Austin firefighter who helped rescue the dog brought her back to the station for a much-needed bath then took her to her parents’ house so they could take care of her while the Austin Animal Center searched for her owner.

Rat Terrier being rescued by firefighters from garbage truck
Photo Credit Austin Fire Department/Lt Buck Johnson

Jim, the dog’s owner, spotted the picture online and recognized his 12-year-old rat terrier, Reba, who according to Jim, is “to say the least, adventurous.”

“It would have been easier to turn her over to animal control, but they went above and beyond to make the effort to get her home. This humanitarianism is all too rare today and is to be lauded. I hope all the kind people involved get the recognition they deserve,” Jim told AFD.

Jim, who is happy to have his companion back in his arms said, “I cannot tell you how relieved and grateful I am to all involved.”