Update: Good news but not long enough in my book. KTLA News reports that Deborah Culwell was sentenced to 365 days in county jail — reduced to 174 days with credit for time served.
Updated pic of those sweet puppies:
Original story published April 23, 2019.
Recent reports confirm that thirty-eight dogs were confiscated from the suspect's home in Riverside County. The dogs were later taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Some were healthy but many were fearful and aggressive.
NBC News also reports that,
"Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, was charged with seven counts of felony animal cruelty."
Officers arrested a woman in Coachella on suspicion of dumping seven newborn puppies into a dumpster behind an auto parts shop, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said. Culwell, 54, was taken into custody at her home, authorities said. We read about animal cruelty cases all the time but this one is the worst case we've seen in a while. This case involved puppies. You heard me right. This article will break your heart.
A woman dumped a bag of puppies behind an auto parts store in Coachella on Thursday afternoon and now she's being investigated for animal cruelty. Officials say store surveillance video shows a woman with long dark hair, dressed in a dark blue or black tank top and skirt. The only silver lining is the woman was caught on tape so hopefully, they'll catch her and she'll be prosecuted for animal cruelty.
According to a statement on the Riverside County Animal Services Facebook page,
"An employee with a Napa Auto Parts store contacted Riverside County Animal Services after a passerby discovered the bag next to a Dumpster. Officer Jose Cisneros responded shortly before 2 p.m. and collected a trash bag, which contained seven puppies. All of the pups were approximately 3 days old and were believed to be terrier mixes."
The puppies were collected by a veterinary team. The team immediately cared for the pups and lined up a rescue organization to help bottle feed them. Fortunately, they all survived the heat.
The rest of the Facebook statement is below.
The statement makes such an important point. Why in the world when we have so many shelters and rescues would someone feel like this was the only alternative? There are animal rescue advocates that would help anyone in this position. In fact, it would be their pleasure to take the puppies off her hands.
Look at those puppies! We all hope she's caught and we agree that the passerby is a hero since this person could have easily dismissed that bag to be just about anything!
"The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving theses puppies' lives," Commander Chris Mayer said. "His actions were humane and heroic."
Riverside County Sheriff's investigators and the District Attorney's office are building a strong cruelty case. This is the second case of puppies being dumped in Riverside County.
Do you have any tips on this case? If you do, please call the Riverside County Sheriff's investigators.
If you feel like venting about how horrible this is, please leave a comment below.
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