Authorities in New Jersey have told local media that 26 puppies were rescued after being left unattended in a hot van on Saturday (19 August).
The English and French bulldogs were all seven to eight weeks old and dehydrated, though all are understood to be doing well again.
NBC New York reported that the puppies had been left alone in two crates in near a Walmart in Garfield, New Jersey. The driver returned at least 45 minutes later, as rescuers were taking the puppies to an air conditioned van and giving them water.
The Garfield Daily Voice reported local animal welfare authorities saying that they believed the dog had been flown from Columbia to New York and were on their to Florida. They also said that none of the dogs were in a critical condition.
The pups were taken to the Bergen County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center. The director, Debrah Yankow, told NBC that authorities will need to go to court to get custody of the dogs but that she believes they were being transported without the proper documentation.
"My best hope is that they can settle this in a timely manner so we can find these puppies homes as quickly as possible," she told the channel. It was unclear whether anyone would be facing charges over the incident but reports said people were already asking to adopt the helpless pups.