‘Dumpster Puppies’ Rescuer Mark Theobald Reflects One Year Later

Mark Theobald with two of the rescued puppies

Rescued Puppy Brie Enjoys Life with Theobald Family

(OnFocus) A year ago, salesman Mark Theobald was visiting a home in Marshfield when he heard what sounded like some crying kittens.

Brie. Submitted photo.

Noticing that the sound was coming from a nearby trash can, he peered inside and saw that the bag was moving. A short time later, city ordinance arrived and lifted out eight newborn puppies.

The abandoned “dumpster puppies” were taken to Marshfield Area Pet Shelter, where their story was followed with widespread interest from international corners and even earned a spot on CBS’s Inside Edition.

The eight puppies, plus a ninth born later, were christened with cheese names and received more than 250 applications for their adoption.

Theobold was one of those who wanted to give the abandoned puppies a safe, loving home and visited MAPS with his wife and daughter a few weeks after the rescue. They connected with puppy Brie when she walked up to each of them in turn.

“She pretty much picked us,” he said.

Adoption day

Brie kept her cheesehead moniker and today fits right in with her new family in Wausau. She enjoys car rides, cuddling up with her family, and destroying her duck toys days after receiving them.

“She’s the best dog I’ve ever had,” Theobald said.

Her abilities include being able to sit, lay down, shake and high five with a word or by a simple snap and point, although she’s still nailing down the trick of balancing a treat on her nose.

Brie bonds with Theobald’s daughter

Brie is also great with pets and people alike. “Her temperament with other dogs is just awesome,” said Theobald. “She doesn’t have possessiveness, or anything that would create a negative vibe. My neighbor’s got two dogs and they’d run for hours if we let them.”

In the mornings, Brie is a “ball of fire” who is “all over the place,” he said. A protective dog, if she hears something in the night, she’ll wake the family.

“It’s tough to put it in perspective how much she means to our family,” Theobald said. “She’s a pretty awesome dog.”

Reflecting on the rescue, Theobald said it went by in a blur and that anyone with a heart would have tried to help the puppies, too. He’s amazed by how many people still recognize him.

“I went to a door and the lady was like, ‘You’re the puppy guy,’” he said. “That blows my mind a little bit, that people remember that. I wasn’t really the star — the puppies were.”

Although it’s a tale that could easily have turned tragic had no one passed by the trash can that chilly winter day, Theobald looks on the bright side.

“There’s so much positive that actually came out of it,” he said. “Nine families have pretty awesome dogs. I guess for all the negative that was there, the positive outweighs it.”

The puppies’ story inspired the introduction of a bill in the Wisconsin State Legislature currently under review that would factor in a person’s intent when it comes to animal abuse that would lead to grievous harm or death, regardless of whether or not these outcomes occur.

MAPS also received greater public awareness while it took on emergency care of the puppies. “They’re the ones who saved these dogs,” Theobald said. “I think it put their face on the map. I think people are starting to realize it’s a good organization.”

Meanwhile, Brie is living her best life and has a new fenced in yard to burn off her bountiful energy.

“She’s spoiled rotten, that’s about the bottom line,” Theobald said.

Puppies Rescued from Trash Can Safe in Foster Care

Dumpster Puppies Case Inspires Bill for Harsher Animal Abuse Penalties

Puppies Found in Dumpster Reunited with their Rescuer, Mark Theobald

Kaylin S
Author: Kaylin S

Kaylin Speth is a Marshfield native with a bachelor's degree in English from UW-Green Bay. She enjoys highlighting the many great things happening in the community and bringing to life the untold stories. Email the team at [email protected]