Alleged Coachella Puppy Dumper Arrested; 38 Dogs Rescued From Her Home

The puppies, who were described as three-day-old terrier mixes, all survived after being found by a Good Samaritan who was looking through the dumpster for recyclables.

April 24, 2019
Deborah Culwell [Courtesy Riverside County Animal Services]

Photo by: Deborah Culwell [Courtesy Riverside County Animal Services]

Deborah Culwell [Courtesy Riverside County Animal Services]

By: Catherine Townsend

COACHELLA, CA — Police in California have arrested the woman who allegedly threw seven newborn babies into a Coachella dumpster on a 90-degree day.

Deborah Culwell, 54, was arrested by Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer at her home on Monday, Fox 32 reported.

Authorities say that they found 38 more dogs living at Culwell's home living in horrific conditions. Those animals were impounded, taken to a shelter in Thousand Palms, and are now being cared for by a rescue organization, according to ABC 7.

Video surveillance camera caught Culwell on Thursday exiting a vehicle and throwing a plastic bag containing the pups into a dumpster behind the Napa Auto Parts store on Thursday. The story, and images, were shared widely on social media.

The puppies, who were described as three-day-old terrier mixes, all survived after being found by a Good Samaritan who was looking through the dumpster for recyclables.

According to authorities, the pups would likely have died within the hour due to the extreme heat if they had not been rescued.

“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies’ lives,” Commander Chris Mayer said. “His actions were humane and heroic.”

The man who found the puppies, after retreiving them from the dumpster, left the bag outside an auto parts store, where they were found by a customer.

"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 couldn't leave them there," the customer said.

Officials said that Culwell, who is being held in jail, faces up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty.

Read more: Fox 32, ABC7

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