LANSING (WWJ) – Who would throw an adorable puppy out with the trash?

An 8-week-old pooch was left in a dumpster outside a Lansing apartment complex — and now the Ingham County Animal Shelter is offering a $500 reward for help to find the culprit whom they hope to see prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.

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Shelter director John Dinon says a manager of the building — near Martin Luther King Blvd., just north of Jolly Rd. — was

(credit: Ingham County Animal Control)

(credit: Ingham County Animal Control)

surprised when what he thought might be a raccoon or an opossum turned out to be a tiny pit bull mix pup.

“He did the right thing,” Dinon told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher. “He called us, we got an animal control officer out there immediately who got the puppy out of the dumpster, got it into air conditioning, got it a cool drink — and the puppy is doing well.”

Dinon said there’s no reason to abandon a dog or cat like that when there are shelters.

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Once identified, he said, the person who did it will likely face cruelty charges — including torturing an animal, which is a felony punishable by up to four years in jail, plus 500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. Abandonment itself is misdemeanor carrying up to 93 days in jail, 200 hours of service and a $1,000 fine.

For those who are thinking they want to bring this little guy home — hold that thought.

Dinon said the puppy is considered evidence in this case and as such will not be put up for adoption anytime soon.

“I know we’re gonna get lots and lots of calls from people who want to adopt this puppy, and what I’ll say is that if you have room in your home and your heart for an animal,  this puppy is not available but there are plenty of dogs and cats available here at Ingham County Animal Control and at shelters across the state.”

The puppy was found Thursday, Aug. 10.

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Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the shelter at 517-676-8370. Or, to remain anonymous, call the tip line at 517-676-8376. The tip money will be available upon an arrest and conviction.