With the summer weather being so miserable, Fred the tortoise decided it was time to pack it in for the year.
Although it was a little early for hibernation - he usually waits until October - the 30-year-old pet searched around his back garden and found the perfect spot in a dark, warm bin bag.
There was just one flaw to his plan - his owner didn't know.
Shell-shocked but home: Fred the tortoise went for a nap but found himself in danger of becoming landfill
And when Jane Deslandes, 55, picked up the refuse sack he had chosen, and left it out for the bin men, Fred began a journey his family would never forget.
The sack was taken by council workers and thrown in a dust cart at their home in Margate, Kent. Then it was transported to a landfill site 20 miles away in Canterbury, where it was due to be buried.
However, Mrs Deslandes, 55, quickly realised the tortoise was missing.
' I knew what had happened straight away because we put the bags out in the garden before collection day.'
'And it's the time of year when he's looking for nice warm places to hibernate,' she said. 'But we panicked because we didn't know where the rubbish goes.'
The mother of six, who works as a carer, phoned the council to find out where the waste was sent, and begged for permission to trawl through garbage at the landfill site.
Workers gave her a high-visibility jacket, and she began a three-hour search - but with no luck.
'We tried for ages but just couldn't find him. Eventually we had to give up and go home - I cried all the way back.'
Fred has a few scratches on his shell but is otherwise safe and happy
Luckily for Fred, however, workers at the site took pity on him - and kept on looking.
And just minutes before the waste was due to be buried last week, they unearthed him from a mountain of rubbish.
When the family found out the good news, they were overjoyed. 'Words can't describe how happy we were,' added Mrs Deslandes.
'We arranged straight away to go and pick him up.
'He was a bit dishevelled-looking and had a couple of chips on his shell. But otherwise he was okay.'
Shell-shocked: The pet tortoise that went for a doze in the bin and ended up on a rubbish trip | Mail Online