On April 18, authorities were looking for a woman caught on camera dumping seven new-born puppies into a dumpster. Thankfully, the puppies were discovered by a good Samaritan before any harm could come to them. Law enforcement put the footage of her dumping the puppies on social media platforms with the hope of identifying her.
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Deborah Sue Culwell, who lives in Coachella, California, was arrested and charged with seven counts of felony animal cruelty Monday evening. The 54-year-old was identified by an anonymous tipster who recognized her picture on social media.
The security footage used to help capture Culwell showed her approaching a deserted area where a dumpster sat alone. Culwell can be seen holding a plastic bag, which was presumably the puppies and tossing them into the dumpster before she jumped back in her Jeep and sped off.
To make matters worse, it was exceptionally warm that day in California with temperatures exceeding 90F. Thankfully, an unnamed good Samaritan noticed the cruel act and gathered the puppies out of the trash and took them to a nearby store where the employees alerted law enforcement.
“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies’ lives. His actions were humane and heroic,” Chris Mayer, Commander of Riverside County Animal Service, said. “There is no excuse for dumping puppies. Especially in today’s age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act.”
When Culwell was arrested, authorities found 30 other dogs who were in poor health living in her home. Those dogs, along with the seven puppies, are being taken care of in a shelter in Thousand Palms, California, according to the Daily Mail.
The District Attorney’s office is already building a large animal cruelty case against Culwell. “You can clearly see the bag of puppies being dumped into the dumpster,” a statement from the DA’s office read. “There’s clearly not a level of intelligence that’s going to be used if you’re going to toss animals.”