10/29/2009 at 05:03 PM EDT
When an animal rescue center is a mere five minutes down the road, why would someone ditch two dogs in a dumpster instead? This awful act happened on Oct. 25 in Monterey, Calif.
A local citizen happened to walk by a Wells Fargo Bank dumpster in the Del Rey Oaks area when he heard whimpering nearby. Poking around, the Good Samaritan found two pit bull mix puppies alone and abandoned. Quick on his feet, the gentleman rushed them down the road to the SPCA for Monterey County
Though the 7-week-old females, named Sadie and Lulu by staffers at the shelter, appeared healthy, the main concern was that the pair were not as active as they should have been.
"They were very lethargic and laying around," SPCA Lieutenant Danielle Scheid (pictured with the dogs above) tells PEOPLEPets.com. "They should have been bouncing around and playing with each other, and they were not doing that."
Other than an old scar on Sadie's head, both pups did not appear abused or sick. Because of the dumpster's daily pick-up schedule, the SPCA estimates that Sadie and Lulu were in the dumpster for just a few hours. And after a few days under the rescue organization's watchful eye, the young ladies have been deemed healthy and are now thriving.
The center is committed to finding the person who left the defenseless babies in the dumpster. They initially offered a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible, which has since been upped to $2,000.
"This would give [the public] the little extra push that they need to come forward and do the right thing," says Beth Brookhouser, Director of Community Outreach with the SPCA for Monterey County. "Because this is illegal and it's inhumane."
It's no surprise that the center has already gotten numerous requests and inquiries to adopt the adorable duo, but anxious owners will have to wait a bit longer. The two pups are still a part of an open investigation, and as female pups in the shelter, they cannot be adopted out until they've been spayed at around 3 months old. If you'd like to contribute to the cause, donations for Sadie and Lulu can be made here.
"They started playing with each other and are actually starting to bark now," Scheid says. "They are getting a lot more energy, more spark in their eyes."See more amazing survival stories on PEOPLEPets.com:Duct-Taped Cat Finds Home – And Inspires over 100 More Adoptions!Cat Survives 13 Shots to Head and Still Finds Way Home