Surveillance cameras have captured the sickening moment a woman dumped a bag of newborn puppies into a recycling bin behind a store in California.
Riverside County Animal Services said in a Facebook post the incident happened in Coachella last Thursday at around 1pm.
The footage shows a woman in a short black strappy dress pulling up to a dumpster in a Jeep before getting out of the vehicle carrying a clear plastic bag.
She is seen walking up to the bin, which authorities said was used for recycling materials, dropping the bag inside and leaving the puppies to die in the sweltering 35 degree heat before driving off.
"There is no excuse for dumping puppies," animal services commander Chris Mayer said in a statement, according to news.com.au.
"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."
Local authorities said the tiny creatures were rescued about an hour later by a passer-by known only as "John" who found them while he was rummaging through the bins, according to Fox News.
There were a total of seven puppies inside the bag, all three days old and believed to be terrier crosses.
Officials said if "John" had not come along, the puppies would likely have died, with temperatures in Coachella that day topping 35 degrees celcius.
"The good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies' lives," Mr Mayer said. "His actions were humane and heroic."
The puppies are now being cared for by a rescue shelter in Orange County, FOX11 reported.
The Riverside Animal Services Department is now hoping that someone will recognise the woman and turn her in.
Mr Mayer labelled the woman "despicable" and said she would likely face animal cruelty charges once authorities tracked her down.