In a viral TikTok video, a creator reveals how much pet food she finds while diving outside pet stores.
“It’s actually kind of insane how much pet food I’ve saved from different pet store containers alone in the past two years,” says user @dumpsterdivingfreegan.
The video shows TikToker rummaging through a dumpster to find three bags of unopened dog food, which she says cost about $50 each.
“The most I ever found were 78 bags of dog food,” she says.
The user says that pet stores are quite popular in the dumpster diving community.
“These pet stores are known in the diving community for throwing away thousands of pounds of pet food every year. And I’m talking about any store throwing away thousands of pounds of pet food,” she says.
She keeps saying that the pet food you find in a dumpster may be approaching its expiration date; however, she says it’s often still safe for pets to consume after this date. The TikToker also says that the shelters she has donated have always accepted these bags of food.
The TikTok was viewed nearly 150,000 times and several users noted other items they could find in pet store containers.
“Not to mention the tons of leashes, stuffed animals, aquariums, cat food, pet toys, etc. thrown away every day. Thanks for sharing!” said one user.
“And the amount of pet clothing and costumes! I found a container full of doggy life jackets – worth over $250 – brand new!” the TikTok creator responded.
However, many pet store employees said their stores force them to destroy or dump bags of pet food that are thrown away.
“At my pet store, we are required by companies to open and dump every bag/can before throwing it away,” said one user.
“When I worked at Petsmart, they would tear open all the bags and break other products before throwing them away,” claimed another.
However, a pet store employee said they would donate products they no longer need to local shelters.
“I used to work at a local pet store and all of our returns and expired products went to local rescue services. I was so thankful nothing was lost!” they said.
The TikToker warned other potential dumpster divers to always check for recalls of discarded items.
“As a reminder, I ALWAYS check for recalls. I only found recalled dog food once. This kind of waste is NORMAL for these stores,” the dumpster diver said in a comment.
The Daily Dot contacted user @dumpsterdivingfreegan via email.
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*First Release: January 21, 2022, 9:06 AM CST
Laiken Neumann is a freelance journalist based in Austin, Texas, who covers culture, entertainment, and social justice.