A woman in California was caught on camera Thursday dumping a bag full of puppies next to a dumpster behind a store. Seven puppies, all about three days old and believed to be terrier mixes, were found in the bag.

The Riverside County Animal Services said in a Facebook post the incident happened in Coachella. Officials said the store surveillance video showed a woman with long dark hair, dressed in a dark blue or black tank top and skirt, who pulled up a jeep next to a trash bin outside the Napa Auto Parts store at 49251 Grapefruit Blvd. She could be seen walking toward the dumpster used for recycling materials and dropping the plastic bag before driving away.

A good Samaritan, identified by his first name John, rescued the puppies after finding them and called the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

“The good samaritan played a major role in saving theses puppies’ lives... His actions were humane and heroic," Department of Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said.

Stray puppy
A stray puppy looks outside from its shelter after its owner left it, Nov. 27, 2010. Reuters

"There is no excuse for dumping puppies," Mayer said. "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."

The Riverside County Animal Services also released a statement saying: "If not for the Good Samaritan's actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer... The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range."

Police were searching for the woman who dumped the puppies and the Riverside Animal Services Department urged the public to recognize the woman and turn her in. Mayer called the woman’s actions "despicable" and said she could face animal cruelty charges.

Animal services' veterinary team members cared for the puppies and they have partnered with MeoowzResQ — a Southern California rescue group that specializes in kitten and cat rescue — to foster the puppies and take over bottle-feeding duties.