- Deborah Sue Culwell was arrested in Coachella, California, on Monday and faces up to seven counts of animal cruelty.
- Authorities said they believe Culwell was the woman filmed throwing seven 3-day-old puppies into a Dumpster behind an auto-parts shop in Coachella last week.
- A Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman said Culwell had about 30 dogs at her home when she was arrested.
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A 54-year-old woman accused of throwing seven 3-day-old puppies into a Dumpster behind an auto-parts shop in Coachella, California, has been arrested, authorities said.
Deborah Sue Culwell was arrested at her Coachella home by Riverside County Animal Services on Monday evening and faces up to seven counts of animal cruelty, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Her arrest comes after the Riverside County Animal Services shared video online of a suspect getting out of a car and throwing the puppies into a Dumpster.
John Welsh, the public informations officer for Riverside County Animal Services, told Buzzfeed News that 38 dogs were found inside the home.
“We were uncertain who would care for the dogs after she was arrested, so we were forced to impound all 38,” he said, adding that the house was “in a state of despair.”
The dogs were taken to a shelter in Thousand Palms, California, to ensure they were fed and cared for, Welsh told ABC 7.
“Most of the dogs appeared to be in somewhat healthy condition, but some were aggressive or fearful,” Riverside’s animal services said in a news release seen by NBC 4.
Riverside County Animal Services worked with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s office to find a suspect in the incident.
The puppies were saved from the Dumpster less than an hour after the suspect fled the scene.
A passerby had been rummaging through the trash when the puppies were discovered. Animal services said the puppies would have died in the heat if they were found any later.
MeoowzResQ, a rescue group in Southern California, has partnered with the department to help foster the puppies and bottle-feed them until they’re old enough to eat on their own.
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