DANVILLE, Va. -

The Danville Area Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information about four newborn puppies that were abandoned in a Pittsylvania County dumpster.

All four puppies eventually died. They were discovered Tuesday in two plastic bags that were tied shut.

The dogs were taken to the shelter and put with a mother cat and fed puppy formula. However, the puppies were still too weak and later died.

According to the shelter, cruelty to animals is punishable by a jail sentence up to 12 months and a fine up to $2,500.

Here is the news release from the Danville Area Humane Society:

The Danville Area Humane Society is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abandoning four newborn puppies in the Mount Tabor dumpster in Pittsylvania County.

On Tuesday, July 22nd, a woman went to the dumpster and heard what she thought were newborn kittens. She looked for them, and found two plastic bags. Both bags were tied shut; one had three puppies in it, and the other one had one puppy.

Shelter staff members had worked overtime that day, and were able to stay until the woman brought the puppies. All of them were obviously weak.

Shelter manager April Hogan and board president Lynn Shelton put the puppies with a nursing mother cat. She let the puppies nurse for a little bit, but the puppies still appeared weak. The puppies were then bottle fed puppy formula. Sadly, none of the four puppies survived.

“There is no reason for people to abandon any animal at dumpsters,” said Paulette Dean, executive director. “It is illegal, immoral, and cruel.”

Since the animals died, the abandonment could be prosecuted under the cruelty statutes. Cruelty to animals is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punishable by a jail sentence of up to twelve months, and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the Danville Area Humane Society at 799-0843.