KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV)-- A puppy survived for nearly a month locked inside an impounded vehicle at a Kansas City tow lot by foraging on leftovers in fast-food bags and, apparently, cigars.
The scared dog is scrawny, but is expected to survive. The 12-week-old puppy was found inside a 1990 Chevrolet Suburban, but has been named Kia.
"We will give her some proper medical care. She is very, very dehydrated and obviously very malnourished," said Tori Fugate, spokeswoman for the Kansas City Pet Project, which operates the municipal animal shelter. "We will get some food in her."
Records show that the Chevy was towed on April 8. The terrier and schnauzer mix was living off the trash in the vehicle, said Fugate said. She didn't have access to water.
"It seems a little too crazy to be true, but it is," Fugate said.
Monday afternoon, a tow lot employee noticed Kia lying up near the windshield. He alerted authorities. Kansas City police busted out a window and rescued the dog.
"The animal control officer said the car was just disgusting," Fugate said.
The tiny dog clung to Fugate and repeatedly whimpered during the interview. The dog squealed and squeaked when she was put in a cage by Fugate.
Fugate sought to comfort her, talking in sing-song to her and telling Kia it would be OK.
"I'm a survivor, obviously," Fugate said to the dog, who likes to nuzzle and give sweet kisses with her paper-thin pink tongue.
Kia went Tuesday afternoon to a foster home. It will be some time before she can be adopted.
The tow lot is operated by Kansas City. Danny Rotert, a spokesman for the municipal government, said Tuesday that a Kansas City police officer found the Chevy blocking the Van Brunt Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate 70 at 10:08 p.m. April 8. The doors were locked and Auto Tow and Recovery was called to the scene.
The vehicle, which has tinted back windows, was delivered to the tow lot at 10:45 that night. Because the doors were locked, protocol dictates that no one make entry, Rotert said.
The registered owner was notified by mail that the vehicle was in the tow lot, but no one has responded. Rotert said city officials don't know who owns the dog or how the dog got in the vehicle.
The vehicle was filled with clothing, clutter and trash, which Rotert said made it impossible for the officers, tow driver or tow lot employees to see the dog. He speculated that the scared pup hid amidst the clutter and didn't bark that night.
On Monday, an employee was marking vehicles for auction when he saw the pup jump onto the dash of the Chevy.
"I am not sure how the dog miraculously survived its encampment," Rotert said. "We are very happy Kia has found a foster home. We're excited that she's healthy and on the mend. It's pretty miraculous, and we are so sorry that it happened. Poor pup."
Rotert said the city cannot break into locked vehicles until they have been cleared for auctions.
If you want to adopt Kia or another dog, go to the Kansas City Pet Project's website. Click here.
The shelter is also looking for foster families as well.
The city of Kansas City runs the tow lot. City officials did not respond to attempts to reach them for comment.