SAN ANTONIO -

A San Antonio pet owner is under investigation by the city's Animal Care Services after officers found two puppies in garbage bags in a West Side neighborhood.

Animal Cruelty Specialist Audra Houghton said the puppies were discovered Tuesday morning by a neighbor in the 2800 block of Chihuahua Street.

The box was placed near the street like garbage. With the bags tied, there was no way for the puppies to escape.

"They were inside of a cardboard box and then inside of plastic garbage bags," Houghton said. "Obviously, the heat would make it very uncomfortable. It would cause a lot of suffering for an animal."

The concerned resident who called ACS reported that two live puppies were inside the bags. But when the responding officer arrived, one of the puppies had already died.

"The other puppy was still alive showing signs of illness, so he immediately brought the puppy here to Animal Care Services," Houghton said.

The surviving puppy had a serious case of Parvovirus, a highly contagious disease that can be fatal.

ACS staff named the surviving puppy Gina and she's now in the care of a local rescue group.

"We're hoping that little Gina will make it. Our rescue partners that take Parvovirus puppies are very good at providing the treatment that they need," Houghton said. "She was alert this morning so we're hopeful that we caught it early enough that she should be okay."

A necropsy will be performed on the other puppy to determine if he was alive when he was placed in the garbage bag. The owner could face charges based on the results.

Right now, investigators aren't sure if the owner placed the puppies in the bags with the intent of killing them or if that owner just didn't know what to do with 2 sick animals.

"To be honest we're not really sure what the person was thinking," Houghton said. "We were told that they thought the puppies were already deceased. Gina was very clearly not deceased."

If found guilty of animal cruelty, the owner faces anywhere from one to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

ACS wants to remind the community that they offer low cost vaccines every Monday, vaccines that could have prevented the puppies from getting sick.

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