A disturbing viral video shows a California woman dumping a bag filled with newborn puppies into a trash bin in 90-degree heat, and local officials are hoping that the images will help lead to the woman's arrest.
The incident took place this week in the state's Coachella Valley, with the video showing the woman driving a Jeep Wrangler to a parking lot with a dumpster. As the Daily Mail reported, the woman exited the car and pulled out a bag filled with three-day-old terrier mix puppies. The woman then threw the bag into the bin and went back to her car, where she drove away.
A person passing by happened to find the puppies just minutes later and took the bag out of the dumpster. The person brought the dogs to a nearby store, saving them just in time. Authorities said the dogs would have died if they had spent even an hour trapped in the bag, due to the high temperature.
The disturbing incident was caught on surveillance video, which was released this weekend by the Riverside County Animal Services. Local police are hoping that someone who knows the woman will come forward.
The recently released video shows the woman's face and details about her clothing and car. Local officials said the woman was brazen -- or stupid -- enough to commit the act in full view of a surveillance camera.
"You can clearly see the bag of puppies being dumped into the dumpster," John Welsh, the chief of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, told NBC Los Angeles. "There's clearly not a level of intelligence that's going to be used if you're going to toss animals."
As ABC 10 reported, animal cruelty laws in California can vary wildly in their punishment. Misdemeanor animal abuse can lead to up to a year in county jail and fines of up to $20,000, while felonies can carry a three-year prison sentence and other stiff fines. Examples of abuse include leaving animals in a hot car or abandoning them without proper food or water, meaning the woman seen in the video could be facing felony charges if she's tracked down."There is no excuse for dumping puppies. Especially in today's age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act," said Riverside County Animal Service Commander Chris Mayer.
The dogs were taken to a rescue shelter in Orange County, where they are recovering.