Dumpster divers go viral after finding live fish thrown into trash

Alice Sjöberg
Live fish found in PetSmart dumpster

A group of first-time dumpster divers has gone viral on TikTok after finding a box full of live fish outside their local PetSmart in Idaho.

Dumpster diving is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential waste to find items that have been discarded but are still useful or valuable. Although sometimes stigmatized, it is a method some individuals use to reduce waste, repurpose items, and in some cases, secure necessities like food and clothing.

Two new dumpster divers decided to record their first experience diving into dumpsters at their local PetSmart store in Idaho where they ended up finding more than just trash…

Dumpster divers find box of live fish

A TikTok by the name of Katie filmed her and a friend finding a box full of individually packed live Betta fish in a dumpster.

Kate captioned the post: “Found this the dumpster at my local Petsmart” and added in the video: “First time dumpster diving and this is what we found…”

In a second video, Katie updated viewers on what’d happened. She said she decided to dumpster dive at PetSmart because she heard stories about the store tossing away “bags full of dog food, collars, leashes, and stuff that could’ve been donated.”

While looking for these items, however, she said she stumbled across a box labeled “live fish.” Out of curiosity, she said she and a friend opened the box and discovered the Betta fish. 

Kate said that she initially didn’t know what to do, as she couldn’t “top off the cups” with water because the fish required “special drops.” She also said that she couldn’t house that many fish herself. With both PetSmart and Petco closed at the time of her discovery, she posted a video of the fish to Snapchat, alerting anyone who viewed it. 

Confused about what to do with all of the fish as they were unable to bring them home themselves, they soon saw two PetSmart workers walk to the cars. Kate and her friend quickly ran to the workers, who were horrified by what they were told.

The employees claimed the fish in the dumpster was a mistake, and one ultimately ended up taking them home.

“I really hope it was a mistake. I hope they take it seriously and whoever made this mistake is let go,” Kate said.

About The Author

Alice is the Entertainment Evergreen Specialist at Dexerto, whose expertise include social media, internet culture, and Reality TV. She is a NCTJ qualified journalist that previously worked in local news before moving on to entertainment news with OK! Magazine and a wide variety of other publications. You can contact Alice at alice.sjoberg@dexerto.com