PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WHDH) — A 10-week-old Jack Russel terrier found in a locked pet carrier tossed into a trash bin in Pawtucket has dozens of new friends.

Police say a passerby heard whimpering and discovered the puppy in the trash bin behind an apartment building last week. Officials say the dog was hungry, thirsty and dirty but otherwise unhurt.

Animal Control Director John Holmes says workers at the city animal shelter fed and cleaned the puppy who is friendly and appears to be in good shape.

"It was intentionally done. The dog didn't get in the carrier and jump in the dumpster by himself. So whoever did this, it's very heartless," Holmes said.

The dumpster is located outside an apartment building. Holmes said he thinks the dog may have been in the dumpster for a couple of days before someone finally heard its cries amid the trash.

"The carrier was a mess, loaded with animal feces. Our problem is naturally, No. 1, they could have brought it right to us. No. 2, had these people not been walking by and the disposal truck had taken the dumpster, I mean, it could have had a tragic ending," Holmes said.

He said that by Monday, the shelter had received between 30 and 40 applications from people looking to adopt the dog.

The puppy doesn't have a name yet, but that is expected to change when he is available for adoption next week.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox