An eagle eyed sanitation worker saw the bag move and opened it to find a big surprise.
She found Victoria, a little Shih Tzu inside.
Now, police are searching for the owner.
"She was in horrible, terrible condition," said Victoria Roman, a sanitation worker.
For Vicky Roman it's almost too painful to talk about.
She was picking up trash in Astoria, Queens and found a tiny, purebred Shih Tzu stuffed in a garbage bag.
"I reached for the bag and something moved and I found her inside the bag. If she had not moved, she would have been in the back of that truck, most definitely," Roman said.
The dog was caked in her own filth. Her eyes were matted-shut and her fur was so tangled-up in her overgrown nails she could barely stand.
"It breaks my heart and I don't want to start crying, but she was in really, really bad shape," Roman said.
The dog was taken to BARC, an animal shelter in Williamsburg, where vets and volunteers are astounded by her recovery.
They named the dog "Victoria" after the sanitation worker who saved her life.
"She's doing great, you know, considering what she's been through. She's a tiny little thing, has a lot of life in her, and not affected by what's happened to her, not emotionally affected by what happened to her, she still loves people in spite of what's happened," said Vinnie Spinola, BARC Animal Shelter.
Vicky would like to believe Victoria was intended to be found, but who knows?
"They have what we call these silent cries when they are in pain and I hate to see any animal mistreated like she was," Roman said.