This Trash Collector Rescued An Abandoned Puppy And Gave It A Home

It can sometimes be easy to take sanitation workers for granted, especially when they come and go while the neighborhood is still asleep. However, one waste and recycling worker did a wonderful deed that hasn’t gone unnoticed. He found a puppy that had been tossed out with the trash and took it in as his own. Read on for the heartwarming tale of how they found each other.

Another Day In Colerain Township, Ohio

Aaron Kinsel was starting a workday like any other. As an employee of Rumpke Waste & Recycling, he had a route to follow in Colerain Township. With almost 60,000 residents, the township is the second-most populated in Ohio.

A garbage man pushes a bin.

Though Colerain Township has only a fraction of the residents as its neighboring city Cincinnati, there was still a lot of work to do. Aaron headed from house to house, and that’s when something caught his eye.

A Backpack On The Side Of The Road

Aaron pulled up to his next location and proceeded to maneuver the trash bins as usual. However, there was something atypical next to the bins. It was a backpack.

A backpack sits on a sidewalk.
Lina Verovaya/Unsplash
Lina Verovaya/Unsplash

Sometimes, people will leave large discarded items next to the bins to be gathered by bulk trash collectors. But this was only a backpack. It could have easily fit inside the bin. Another possibility was that someone had left it out in case a neighbor wanted to take it for free since it was in good condition.

There Was Something Inside

There were several reasons why a backpack could have been left on the curb. Perhaps someone wanted to leave it out just in case a passerby wanted it. Maybe a child forgot about it and left it outside by accident.

A man looks inside a backpack.
Joby Sessions/N-Photo Magazine/Future via Getty Images
Joby Sessions/N-Photo Magazine/Future via Getty Images

While these were possibilities, there was something that gave Aaron pause. The bag was bulky as though there was something inside. Perhaps it did belong to someone who merely forgot it on the curb.

Then He Noticed Movement

It would make sense that a backpack would have items in it. Perhaps there were books inside, or maybe a large jacket. For all Aaron knew, it could have been anything.

A raccoon walks forward with an arched back.

He may have ignored it if it weren’t for what happened next. Out of the corner of his eye, Aaron saw the bag move. At this point, the backpack could have been dangerous. Perhaps there was a wild animal in there scavenging for food.

Deciding To Investigate

Aaron could have just driven away and left it at that. After all, he could regret opening the backpack if there was something dangerous inside. Still, something told him that he should investigate.

Luis Quintero/Pexels
Luis Quintero/Pexels

So he climbed down from his garbage truck, and went over to the abandoned backpack. When he pulled it open, it became clear that he’d made the right choice. Inside was a helpless little puppy! It clearly needed some help, and Aaron was just the man to support it.

Something Was Wrong

Of course, finding a puppy in a backpack isn’t exactly a sign of good ownership. Aaron knew right away that the pooch needed some assistance. But the look on her face also indicated that something medical might be going on.

The dog couldn’t walk and was clearly lethargic. Aaron scooped up the sweet dog and decided right then and there that he would do whatever it took to help. The rest of the trash bins would have to wait.

Updating His Employer

The first thing that Aaron needed to do was inform his boss of what happened. Fortunately, the management at Rumpke Waste & Recycling was extremely supportive. They had their safety team drive to Aaron’s location to pick up the dog.

A man makes a call on his cellphone.
Антон Шариков/Unsplash
Антон Шариков/Unsplash

That way, Aaron could finish his route and the puppy could get the care she so desperately needed. They took her to a veterinarian and the company even covered the visit’s cost. Still, Aaron wondered if the pooch would be alright.

The Veterinarian’s Verdict

The veterinarian was able to see the puppy that day, and determined what was the matter. The dog was only about 10-weeks-old, she had a broken leg, and she was dehydrated.


Fortunately, none of these issues were life-threatening since Aaron had found the pup in time. However, they were serious and would need immediate attention. The vet advised having the dog’s broken leg amputated to avoid any complications that may arise later on in her life.

Aaron Was Already Becoming Attached

Though Aaron had only spent a short time with the puppy, he already had a place in his heart for her. In a press release he explained, “I felt like I was meant to find her.”

Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The feeling was probably mutual for the dog. For all we know, Aaron could have been the first human to take genuinely good care of her. It seemed like they were a match made in heaven, but what about that expensive surgery?

The Company Decided To Pay For The Surgery

The folks at Rumpke Waste & Recycling couldn’t just let this puppy go on suffering. Even though Aaron had bonded with the dog, it wouldn’t be fair to have him pay out of pocket for her recovery.

Michelangelo the tortoise
Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images
Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

That’s why the company decided that it was only right to cover the expenses for the checkup and the surgery. Once the puppy was healthy enough to take home, Aaron would officially take over as her new owner.

Going Into Surgery

The vet discovered that the abandoned puppy’s rear leg was broken in two different areas! That’s why they decided that amputating it would be best in terms of swift recovery.

A dog sits at the vet office.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Fortunately, they were able to perform the surgery in no time and it was a success! She would need to stay in the veterinarian’s office for a little while to recover, but Aaron couldn’t wait to bring her home. His family was also excited to meet the adorable pooch.

Waiting To Reunite

Aaron couldn’t wait to see the new and improved puppy that he helped save. Rumpke Waste & Recycling tweeted on a Friday that the dog was recovering from her surgery and would hopefully be ready to leave by the following week.

A man checks his watch.
Jan Vašek/Pixabay
Indivar Kaushik/Unsplash

Social media users anxiously awaited updates on the story, but the person who was most excited was Aaron. He had several days to pass while waiting for his new companion, during which he would get everything ready.

Preparing For The Family’s Newest Addition

Any pet owner will tell you that there’s a lot that goes into preparing for a furry friend. They need toys, dog bowls, a blanket, a bed… the list goes on.

A man plays with his dog at a pet store.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Fortunately, Aaron already had a dog at home. It makes sense that he was so sensitive to the lost pooch because he already was a canine-lover! There was one thing he would need to come up with, though: a name for the little cutie.

He Gave Her A Name Related To His Job

After such an extraordinary story, it seemed only fitting to select a name that was extra special. Aaron decided to call the dog Tipper, which isn’t a name you hear every day. Only sanitation workers would likely know what’s so profound about the name.

City garbage truck picks us refuse
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

As Rumpke Waste & Recycling explained in their press release, a tipper is the part of a garbage truck that lifts up the bins. In a sense, it’s their helper, which is why Aaron thought it would suit the dog.

She Got To Go Home Early!

Though Rumpke Waste & Recycling initially reported that it may be several days before Tipper could go home, it actually was much sooner. The company posted an update the following week that said Tipper got to go to her new home that weekend!

A smiling dog peaks his head out of a crate.

Aaron was over the moon to have his new pooch in the house. She immediately had toys to play with and got along well with the other dog. At last, Tipper was surrounded by love.

The Company Commended Aaron’s Work

Rumpke Waste & Recycling not only supported Aaron in his desire to rescue Tipper, but they also publicly commended him. The company’s safety manager for their Cincinnati division, Kendra Catherman, stated how proud they are of Aaron.

People give a man high fives.
Daniel J. Groshong/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel J. Groshong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

She said that the company’s drivers are “trained to be observant” for everyone’s safety and that they strive to “take care of our communities and always do the right thing.” She also welcomed Tipper and said the dog was “an honorary member of our Rumpke team.

Social Media Attention

Aaron and Tipper’s story was so heartwarming that it quickly began to spread around the internet. While the Rumpke Twitter account often shares recycling types, this story stood out as one that people longed to share.

Twitter appears on a smartphone screen.
Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

As a result, the initial post garnered almost 1,000 likes and over 100 retweets. Their follow-up posts also received a lot of attention as people eagerly followed the story to its happy ending. People were quick to commend Aaron and the rest of his team.

Love And Praise

Twitter users commented words of encouragement and praise on every post Rumpke made about Tipper. Some people called them heroes while others thanked Aaron and the company for what they did.

Two women applaud a garbage man.
David Rogers/Getty Images
David Rogers/Getty Images

One user wrote, “You just found your best buddy for life” and another echoed by saying that Tipper “will repay you with lots of love!” One person even wrote, “You all have just restored a little of my faith in humanity. Thank you for your kindness and dedication to this pup!”

Calls For Aaron To Start A GoFundMe Account

Even though Rumpke covered Tipper’s initial veterinarian expenses, Twitter users were adamant about wanting to donate. Multiple people brought up how he should start a GoFundMe account to raise money for Tipper.

A woman adds money to a piggy bank.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

People were also raising questions about what will happen in regards to Tipper’s previous owner. Those following the story wanted to make sure that consequences would follow so this didn’t happen again. In the company’s press release, they noted that the local authorities were investigating.

A New Companion

Even though Aaron was the one who saved Tipper, she’ll go on to help him by offering years of love and loyalty. That’s why Aaron wanted to name her after a tipper, because he already knew what a helper she was for him.

Their adorable story is a testament to how everyday workers do amazing things all the time. Thanks to the help of one garbage man and his animal-loving company, this pooch gets a second shot at a great life.