Peyton the puppy is one lucky dog.
The shepherd mix pup, who is just barely four months old, was discovered last month in a not-very-heavily travelled part of an Atlanta greenspace. He had been dumped into a park trash can by someone and left there.
A cat trapper (community volunteer who traps feral cats for TNR programs) was scouting the area and heard odd noises coming from an oil-drum trash barrel just off the beaten path.
What he found when he checked out the source of the unusual sounds was a young dog covered in trash, tar and grime.
LifeLine Animal Project stepped in and immediately took the puppy and cleaned him up. He was put in a foster home until he could get all his vaccinations and was old enough to keep in their no-kill Dog House in Avondale Estates.
Named for Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, the pup was hungry, tired and very fearful at first. After some attention, medical care and three baths to get all the tar off of him, he blossomed into a playful ball of fur that charmed rescuers and staff at LifeLine.
"He is a sweet boy who listens well and loves to play. He knows some commands already such as 'sit' and 'stay' and he picked up on them quickly," said Jessica Benenati, who fostered Peyton for a month in her home and worked with him.
Shannon Dunagan, a rescuer who also worked with Peyton, describes him like this: "He is extremely affectionate, smart, and a goofy puppy. He sometimes falls all over himself when he gets playful because he is just so happy now."
Peyton has had all of his shots, is neutered, micro chipped and is doing well learning house-training. He loves to play with toys and plays well by himself but also enjoys the company of other dogs, especially older dogs who will tolerate and/or correct him when he gets too frisky.
He weighs about 30 lbs currently but will probably weigh in at about 50 lbs as an adult.
"He's a sweet active boy," said Deb Setzer, LifeLine's community outreach director, "He's perfect for someone who wants to raise a beautiful, intelligent puppy."
Peyton's future prospects didn't end when he was dumped into that trash barrel in May. Through luck and love he's now available for adoption.
If you think Peyton might be your new puppy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Military vets always adopt free through LifeLine's Pets Helping Vets program and in June, adoption fees are waived for teachers and school administrators as part of LifeLine's Creatures For Teachers promotion.