Recology employee adopts puppy rescued by coworkers from recycling conveyor belt

Juan Pardo/Special to The S.F. ExaminerGem

Juan Pardo/Special to The S.F. ExaminerGem

A Recology employee adopted a puppy today that her coworkers rescued from a recycling center conveyor belt in San Francisco last month.

San Francisco resident Patricia Aleman was selected out of more than 200 people from around the country who expressed interest in adopting the 3-month-old female apricot poodle mix nicknamed “Gem.”

Two Recology employees spotted Gem on Dec. 20 after she was unloaded amongst a truckload of bottles, cans and other recyclables onto a conveyor belt, said Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored the two employees who rescued Gem earlier this month.

Aleman, a Recology Golden Gate employee who works in the company's community affairs and government relations division, picked up Gem this afternoon at Animal Care and Control's shelter.

Aleman said she learned about Gem from coworkers the day after she was rescued and couldn't believe the small poodle had survived the recycling collection and sorting process.

“It was such a miracle to see that she made it alive,” Aleman said.

She said the photographs of Gem covered in filth saddened her and made her inquire about the possibility of adoption.

Gem has spent the past month in foster care recovering from her injuries, which included bite marks around her neck, head and ears as well as lameness in her hind legs and discharge in her eyes and ears.

San Francisco Animal Control Capt. Le-Ellis Brown said Gem's bite marks likely came from rats and although Gem is a small dog by nature, she weighed less than 5 pounds when she was found.

Brown said that Gem may have survived among the recyclables for up to a couple weeks.

Despite her injuries, most of which appear to have occurred before she was put into a recycling bin, the puppy was alert and responsive when she was found, officials said.

At Gem's adoption appointment this afternoon she was lively, playful and not at all timid.

Aleman said her supervisors at Recology have granted her permission to bring Gem to work with her and that the whole staff is looking forward to getting to know Gem.

Aleman said that it will be meaningful to all Recology employees to spend time with the dog that they helped rescue from their very own facility.Bay Area NewsGempuppyRecology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Diners at Teeth, a bar in the Mission District, on July 9, 2021. Teeth began using digital menus based on QR code technology in August. (Ulysses Ortega/The New York Times)
The football stadium at UC Berkeley, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. George Kliavkoff, a former top executive at MGM Resorts International, took over the conference at the start of the month. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
What’s Ahead for the Pac-12? New commissioner weighs in

‘Every decision we make is up for discussion. There are no sacred cows.’

The sidewalk on Egbert Avenue in the Bayview recently was cluttered with car parts, tires and other junk. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
New surveillance effort aims to crack down on illegal dumping

’We want to make sure we catch people who are trashing our streets’

As the world reeled, tech titans supplied the tools that made life and work possible. Now the companies are awash in money and questions about what it means to win amid so much loss. (Nicolas Ortega/The New York Times)
How tech won the pandemic and now may never lose

By David Streitfeld New York Times In April 2020, with 2,000 Americans… Continue reading

Most Read