Deborah Sue Culwell has been identified as the 54-year-old California woman who was arrested on Monday, April 22, after she was recorded dumping a bag of newborn puppies into a dumpster.
What Happened & Who Is Deborah Sue Culwell?
According to police, Culwell — who was arrested in Coachella, California on April 22 — was filmed on security camera dumping a bag of seven days-old puppies into a dumpster behind an auto parts store on Thursday, April 18. Reports indicate that the weather at the time was north of 90 degrees.
Police say that they were able to identify Culwell through the license plate number on her white Jeep that was seen in the surveillance video.
Following her arrest, Culwell was charged with seven separate counts of felony animal abuse.
Thankfully, all of the young puppies — which are believed to be 3-day-old terrier mixes — survived and are currently being cared for at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
In a statement, John Welsh — the chief of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services — said that there’s “clearly not a level of intelligence” when it comes to Culwell.
“You can clearly see the bag of puppies being dumped into the dumpster,” Welsh said. “There’s clearly not a level of intelligence that’s going to be used if you’re going to toss animals.”
The puppies — who are so young that they need to be bottle fed — were rescued after their cries were heard by a homeless man, who the enlisted the help of nearby good samaritans. Officials say that the puppies may not have survived if they weren’t found within an hour of being dumped.
According to ABC 7, the Riverside County Animal Service is currently working with Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s office to build a cruelty case against Culwell.
At the time of this writing, it is unclear when Culwell’s next court appearance is scheduled for.