PLEASANT HILL (CBS SF) — The Humane Society of the U.S. is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the animal cruelty suspect or suspects who sealed three 5-week-old terrier puppies in a garbage bag and left them to die in a Pleasant Hill park last week.

The organization hopes the reward will encourage members of the public to come forward with information that might lead to the identification, arrest and eventual conviction of those responsible.

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The tiny terriers were found on Jan. 19 by a couple walking their dog in Paso Nogal Park when the dog alerted them to a trash bag near a garbage can. The couple took the puppies home, cleaned them up and brought them in to the Contra Costa Animal Services shelter.

The dogs are alive and well and currently in foster care with East Bay Animal Rescue and Refuge, according to Rick Golphin, deputy director of Contra Costa Animal Services.

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Golphin said there was tremendous interest in adopting the puppies after news broke of their rescue.

Working with a veterinarian, however, the decision was made to keep the puppies in foster care for at least three weeks until they reach minimum adoption age, he said.

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The shelter still has a large number of pit bulls and Chihuahuas available for adoption.