BOSTON (WHDH) - Three dogs were found dead inside an abandoned U-Haul van in Mattapan amid a heat advisory in Boston Tuesday, police said.

At around 8:58 p.m., an officer responded to a 911 call for dead dogs in a van parked near 69 Edgewater Drive, according to a police report.

Standing on her toes, the officer peered in through a window in the back of the van and could see a metal crate with a dog inside. She noticed the dog was not moving, police said.

She also saw a bag of dog food in the front passenger area of the van, according to police.

The officer noted that a bad smell was emanating from the vehicle. Neighbors also noticed the stench.

“I tried to open my door and I said, ‘I smell really something really bad.’ I said, ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’ I’ve never smelled something like that,” Yves Vilarson said.

An animal control officer eventually arrived on scene and found three medium-sized dogs dead inside the vehicle, police said.

The 911 caller told officers he did not see who parked the U-Haul, but said it had been parked on the street since last week. He also said he heard barking at one point. Another person said she saw a man pouring water from a jug onto a live dog outside, police said.

He said that around 10 a.m., he saw two men near the van with cleaning supplies.

The dogs were found dead amid scorching hot weather in the Boston area.

Police discovered four water jugs, a grey tray, and a bottle of bleach on the sidewalk in front of the vehicle. Officers did not find any paperwork inside and are still trying to determine who rented the van.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Boston police detectives at 617-343-5607. People can also anonymously call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word “TIP” to CRIME (27463).

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