The SPCA is calling for information after six puppies were found "almost lifeless" in Taumarunui, dumped in a reusable shopping bag.
A member of the public found the two-day-old puppies on Wednesday near Kirtons Road in Manunui, the SPCA said in a statement.
"The puppies were extremely cold and almost lifeless and were immediately taken to the nearest vets," the SPCA said.
Four of the puppies were too weak and did not survive. The remaining two are being looked after by a local vet.
Debbie Dalby, SPCA centre manager at Taumarunui, said they were looking for information about where the puppies came from.
"These puppies were left exposed to the elements, with no food, water and nothing but each other for warmth. We are heartbroken that someone could abandon innocent animals like this," Ms Darby said.
She said all information would be treated as confidential and encouraged the public to call 07 896 6500.