In a post on the El Dorado County Watch Facebook page, the man who found the puppy said he was sitting on top of a trash bag in the dumpster between CVS Pharmacy and O'Reilly Auto Parts. There was "no way he could get in or out by himself," the post read.
Investigators are treating this as a case of animal abandonment.
"That's just a horrendous thing to do to an animal. That's why animal shelters exist," said Chief Henry Brzezinski of El Dorado County Animal Services. "We'll take animals in if people no longer want them. We work with people if they can't afford an owner surrender fee. So there's always a shelter around that's going to work with somebody."
The energetic puppy, estimated to be about 10 weeks old, is now in the care of El Dorado County Animal Services and will be available for adoption in about a week.
Anyone with tips about who may have put the dog in the trash is encouraged to call 530-621-5795.
"We take animal cruelty seriously here in El Dorado County," Chief Brzezinski said. "And we will continue and investigate, and hopefully find out who this person was that was responsible for this cruel act."