Two Alabama teenagers found nearly a dozen puppies and their mother inside a trash bag on April 24.
Hannah Killingsworth and Reid Potthoff were out riding a four-wheeler near Clayton, Alabama, when they heard a high- pitched whine and found the dogs, WSFA reports.
"It was pretty scary, actually," Potthoff said. "We didn't know what to do, we called for help."
The puppies' mother was also in the trash bag, but she -- along with one of the puppies -- was dead.
The 10 surviving puppies had not opened their eyes yet, making them less than 9 days old.
"Try to figure out who would do that. Even some people that I know that aren't really dog people just wouldn't throw animals in a trash bag," Potthoff said.
While the teens were upset to find the animals, they were glad they could save most of them.
"Now that people know more about it, they will be more aware things like this happen all the time," Killingsworth said. "It's a good feeling to know that you did something right, that you could help something so innocent."
The puppies are reportedly in foster care now and are doing well.
Nicole Benefield, who helped the teenagers rescue the animals, said she believes the mother must have given birth to the puppies inside the bag.
"When I opened the bag, there was blood, and I guess where they were born. There was so much in there, I'm surprised they didn't drown," Benefield said.
"I don't think they would have made it at the end of the day if they wouldn't have found them," she added. "I was just thankful that almost all of them made it out."
Authorities are asking anybody with information to call the police.
It’s not the first time somebody discovered a dog inside a trash bag, WNEP reports.
In August 2015, police in Lansford, Pennsylvania, said they found a dead Rottweiler-shepherd mix dumped in a garbage bag by the side of a road.
"It's heartbreaking because you should treat your dog's body the same way you would treat a human's body. It deserves respect from the beginning of life to the end of life,” said Carbon County Animal Shelter Director Tom Connors.