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Monday, 22 April 2019 16:46

Caught on Tape: Woman Dumps Puppies UPDATE

Animal Services Places Pups With Rescue Group Partner


UPDATE: Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer arrested a woman in Coachella this afternoon related to a recent puppy-dump investigation. The woman is suspected of dumping seven newborn puppies into a trash container last week.

Deborah Sue Culwell (DOB: 6-24-1964) was arrested by Commander Mayer at about 5:30 p.m. at her residence in Coachella. Ms. Culwell is facing up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty.


FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019 – 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.

An employee with a Napa Auto Parts store contacted Riverside County Animal Services after a passerby discovered the bag next to a Dumpster. The store is located at 49251 Grapefruit Blvd. 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.

Animal Services’ veterinary team members cared for the puppies and lined up a rescue group partner organization to take over bottle feeding duties. MeoowzResQ, a Southern California-based organization specializing in kitten and cat rescue and fostering, agreed to accept the pups.

Officer Cisneros asked an employee at the Napa store if he could review any surveillance footage from the store security’s cameras. The employee allowed the officer to review the footage and he watched one segment that showed a vehicle driving near the rear area of the business.

Just after 1 p.m. on Thursday, a woman in a Jeep pulled up, exited the Jeep carrying a plastic bag in one of her hands and walked toward a Dumpster used for recycling materials. She shut the recycling Dumpster and dropped the clear, plastic bag next in a trash Dumpster and drove away.

Shortly afterward, a passerby, named John, rummaged through the trash and noticed the bag and brought it into the Napa store. If not for the Good Samaritan’s actions, the puppies may not have survived muchlonger. The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range.

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

He said the woman’s actions are despicable and he and his colleagues are already communicating with Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s office in building a strong cruelty case.

“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” Mayer said. “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.”

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