In Coachella, California, a woman alleged to have thrown a bag of seven newborn puppies into a dumpster last week has been arrested. Deborah Culwell, 54, was arrested at her home on Monday.
According to Riverside County Animal Services, a white Jeep Wrangler pulled up to the back of the Napa Auto Parts store located at 49251 Grapefruit Boulevard where a woman got out of the vehicle, looked into the dumpster and then threw a plastic trash bag into it.
“Shortly afterward, a passerby, named John, rummaged through the trash and noticed the bag and brought it into the Napa store. If not for the Good Samaritan, the puppies may not have survived much longer,” the news release stated. “The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range.”
Officer Cisneros reviewed the surveillance footage from the store’s security camera and watched the segment that showed a vehicle near the dumpster. A Good Samaritan found them.
“I noticed the bag on the floor, and they were tied up in the bag. So, I immediately opened the bag a little further, and I proceeded to call animal services to see what I could do with them because I just couldn’t leave them there.”
Had it not been for the Good Samaritan, the puppies likely would not have survived.
Authorities found 38 more dogs at Culwell’s home. The animals were all seized and have been transferred to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.
Investigators have called the case a “willful act of animal cruelty.” All of the three-day-old puppies survived and are being cared for at a rescue organization. Culwell has been charged with seven counts of felony animal cruelty and remained in jail on Monday evening.
Updates to follow.
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