Puppy found stuffed inside backpack, left in truck bed in Tampa

Dog found inside a backpack in the bed of a truck in Tampa, Florida. (WFLA)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The story involves a backpack, a puppy and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Thankfully, it all adds up to a happy ending for a little dog now named “Zeus.”

Jerry Murray got home from work and spotted something he never expected to see in the bed of his truck.

“I’m standing here like this and I hear a noise and I look in the back and we meet eyes,” he told News Channel 8.

The big, blue eyes of a grey and white puppy looked up at him from inside a New York Yankees backpack filled with shredded newspaper.

“He’s in there, he’s panting, and I see him and I’m like ‘what am I going to do?’” said Murray.

Being a dog owner himself, Murray immediately gave the canine lots of compassion.

“I gave him some water, gave him some food and let him relax a little bit, ’cause I’m sure he was traumatized from the ride,” he said.

But with three dogs of his own, this veteran knew a fourth would be a bit too much. That’s when his wife called the Second Chance Friends Rescue Group in Plant City.

“He could have died in that backpack,” said founder Bill Grey.

While he’s happy to help rescue little Zeus, it’s the ones he can’t that give him nightmares.

“I live out here in the country and the ones that are just dumped along country roads and nobody ever sees….those are the ones that haunt me,” Grey said.

Thankfully, Zeus won’t be one of those dogs.

Murray suggests he’s a puppy that will make someone very happy saying, “He’s a very sweet dog. Didn’t make very much noise and if you love him, he’ll love you.”

Once Zeus is cleared by a veterinarian, he’ll be up for adoption through The Second Chance Friends organization in Plant City.

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