Deborah Sue Culwell was caught on surveillance video in April dumping a bag of 3-days-old puppies into a trashcan. The seven puppies were tossed in a bin near a store in Coachella in sweltering temperatures. This made headlines across the U.S. and her case drew outrage from numerous animal rights activists. After being identified from the store’s footage, she was arrested on April 22.
What does the video show?
However, County Department of Animal Services’ spokesman, John Welsh, said that the video shows a woman with a ponytail wearing short skirt exiting her jeep with a sealed plastic bag at 1 pm. She drove the Jeep next to a recycling bin outside the ‘NAPA Auto Parts’ store at 49-251 Grapefruit Boulevard, Coachella, on April 18.
Within minutes, a passerby rummaging through the bin found the bag. The seven squealing puppies were believed to be terrier mixes. He identified as ‘John’ and took them to the air-conditioned store. After that, law enforcement was notified. The temperature was well into 90s and they were treated for dehydration at a foster rescue home. One of them, believed to be the runt of the litter, died a week after being discovered. Investigators found 38 dogs during a search of Culwell’s house. They were also turned over to local animal rescue groups.
She pleaded guilty in a court
Although, Culwell was arrested after animal control officers served an arrest warrant at her Third Street residence and impounded 38 dogs found on the property. On Wednesday, she changed her not-guilty plea to guilty on seven felony animal cruelty counts and seven misdemeanor animal abandonment charges. She is sentenced to 365 days in custody. However, Judge Harold Hopp reduced it to 174 days, with credit for time served. During the probation period, she will also be prohibited from owning any animals. Judge Harold Hopp called the circumstances surrounding the case “pretty severe, earlier this Wednesday.
Moreover, She has surrendered ownership of the animals, which all appeared to be terrier mixes ranging from 1 to 5 years old. A national audience is now drawn to the plight of her animals. They were later featured on a national television show with the goal of getting them adopted.