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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force is asking for the public's help in identifying the person or persons who stuffed three boxer-mix puppies in a backpack and tossed it into a trash bin.

The puppies were discovered behind a vacant house in Overland Tuesday afternoon by a person cleaning out the vacant home.

One of the puppies was dead inside the backpack. Investigators could not determine if the dog was alive or dead when it was placed in the backpack.

An animal autopsy revealed the female puppy was three to four-months old and died of heat stroke. The surviving puppies, a male and female, were underweight.

A $2,500 reward is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Tips can be made by calling the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400 or the Overland Police Department at 314-428-1221.

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