PITT COUNTY -

Two people have been charged for allegedly abandoning nine newborn puppies in a box outside a closed animal shelter.

The suspects, identified as 24-year-old Rikki Porter, of Ayden, and 26-year-old Justin Omar Rudie Magee, of Greenville, turned themselves in at the Pitt County Magistrate's Office at about lunchtime Wednesday, investigators said. The suspects are each charged with nine counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and nine counts of misdemeanor animal abandonment.

Porter and Magee are each being held under a $25,000 bond at the Pitt County Detention Center.

The suspects abandoned the nine newborn pit bull-mix puppies Monday outside the Pitt County Animal Shelter, which was closed at the time, officials said.

(CLICK HERE: More photos of the puppies.)

A surveillance camera caught them driving up to the shelter, with the male suspect exiting the vehicle first. He can be seen taking a cardboard box out, but it broke, causing the newborn puppies to fall to the ground.

The female suspect then came out of the vehicle and helped the male suspect put the puppies back into the box, the surveillance video shows. The suspects then drove away. (CLICK HERE: Full surveillance video.)

Animal shelter employees said they found the nine puppies at about 8:30 p.m. Monday, after the staffers returned from an adoption event. If the puppies had remained outside longer, they would have perished, shelter employees said.

"They would have died overnight. We have the storms, plus they were hungry," said Michele Whaley of the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

While Porter was being booked Wednesday, Magee took Pitt County deputies and Animal Control officers to his home to surrender the mother of the nine abandoned puppies, as well as a final puppy that was placed back into the vehicle, said Kiara Jones, Pitt County's director of public information and media relations.

The mother dog (PICTURED HERE) was reunited with her puppies, and officials hope they will begin feeding soon.

The Greenville Humane Society is taking care of the puppies. They won't be available for adoption for about eight weeks.

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Officials said they are looking for the people who abandoned nine newborn puppies in a box outside a closed animal shelter.

A surveillance camera caught a car driving up to the Pitt County Animal Shelter Monday. A man and woman can be seen exiting the vehicle and dropping off the cardboard box full of pit bull-mix puppies outside the shelter, which was closed at the time.

(CLICK HERE: Full surveillance video.)

Animal shelter employees said they found the nine puppies at about 8:30 p.m. Monday, after the staffers returned from an adoption event. If the puppies had remained outside longer, they would have perished.

"They would have died overnight. We have the storms, plus they were hungry," said Michele Whaley of the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

The nine newborn puppies are being bottle-fed at the Greenville Humane Society. They won't be available for adoption for about eight weeks, officials said.

According to the Pitt County Animal Shelter, it will cost about $1,000 for the Humane Society to take care of the puppies for the next eight weeks.

Deputies with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office are working to enhance the surveillance video. Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 252-902-2800.