The Internet erupted with outrage after video surfaced online of a young woman dumping seven newborn puppies into a dumpster located behind a store in Coachella, California, on Thursday — just one day before the drug-induced annual musical festival officially kicked off.
The puppies, thanks to the help of a Good Samaritan who spotted the three-day-old animals, are alive and being cared for, reported Newsweek. And an investigation seeking to find and charge the perpetrator with animal cruelty has been launched.
The video shows a woman with black hair, wearing a black top and jean shorts, driving her white Jeep up to two dumpsters located behind a NAPA Auto Parts store. She gets out of the vehicle while holding what was later determined to be a sack full of puppies. After inspecting the first dumpster, which houses recyclable goods, she makes her way to the second dumpster and carelessly tosses in the bag, gets back in her Jeep, and speeds off.
“An employee with a Napa Auto Parts store contacted Riverside County Animal Services after a passerby discovered the bag next to a dumpster,” explained a social media post from the Riverside County Animal Services Department.
“Officer Jose Cisneros responded shortly before 2 P.M. and collected a trash bag, which contained seven puppies. All of the pups were approximately three days old and were believed to be terrier mixes,” the department said, adding, “Animal Services’ veterinary team members cared for the puppies and lined up a rescue group partner organization to take over bottle feeding duties.”
When Officer Cisneros reviewed the surveillance video from the store security’s cameras, he found the footage of the woman dumping the puppies at around 1 P.M. local time on Thursday.
“Shortly afterward, a passerby, named John, rummaged through the trash and noticed the bag and brought it into the Napa store,” the department said.
Commander Chris Mayer called the Good Samaritan “heroic,” noting that the scorching hot temperatures made it likely the puppies would not have survived much longer without his help.
“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies’ lives,” Mayer said. “His actions were humane and heroic.”
“If not for the Good Samaritan’s actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer,” he continued. “The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range.”
Mayer said that “he and his colleagues are already communicating with Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s office in building a strong cruelty case,” noted the Riverside County Animal Services Department.
“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” Mayer added. “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.”