Who Is Deborah Sue Culwell? New Details About The California Woman Arrested For Dumping Newborn Puppies In A Dumpster

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Who is Deborah Sue Culwell? New Details About The California Woman Arrested For Dumping Newborn Puppies In A Dumpster

A woman named Deborah Culwell is under arrest for animal cruelty after she was seen on video dumping seven three day old puppies into a dumpster in Coachella, California. The 54-year-old woman dumped the dogs and walked off, leaving them a metal container in the California heat. They were rescued almost immediately by a Good Samaritan who happened to be there at just the right time. The video was released in an effort to find the perpetrator and it immediately went viral. Culwell was identified and arrested in the days following the event. According to TMZ, she will be charged with seven felony counts of animal cruelty, one for each puppy. She is being held on $10,000 bond. If convicted, she could face seven years in prison. When police went to her house, they discovered dozens more dogs on the property. Who is Deborah Sue Culwell?

1. The puppies are safe

The most important fact for now is that the puppies are all safe. They were removed from the dumpster quickly and have been given veterinary care. They were unharmed when they were found, though hot and hungry. A rescue organization called MeoowzResQ has taken responsibility for them and will make sure they are adopted into loving homes.

The puppies are all safe now.

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2. Dumping

According to surveillance video shared by the website The Heavy, Culwell walked up to a dumpster outside an auto parts store and threw the bag containing seven newborn puppies into it. A man, identified only as John, was rummaging through the dumpster shortly afterward and discovered the puppies. He then removed then from the dumpster and took them into the store. Employees called animal control, who gave the man a great deal of credit for being the right place and the right time to save the lives of the puppies. “The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving theses puppies’ lives,” Commander Chris Mayer said in a Facebook post. “His actions were humane and heroic.”

Statement from Riverside County Animal Control.

3. Criminal record

Culwell has some other legal troubles in her past, though no convictions for animal cruelty. In 2011 she pled guilty in a fraud case in Riverside County. The Heavy reports that she was guilty of forgery of a check or bill, according to court records. She was also convicted of receiving stolen property and possession of controlled substances. Five other charges of receiving stolen property, two charges of forging a signature, three charges of defrauding another person and a drug paraphernalia possession charge were dropped as part of her plea agreement. She was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 120 days of jail time, but did most of that time in a county work release program.

The video went viral after it was released.

4. Official response

According to the website The Heavy, John Welsh, a spokesman for the animal services agency, told The Washington Post. “We’re talking about seven pups tossed in the garbage like they were trash. It’s a pretty serious case as far as animal cruelty goes.” The cruelty aspect is especially serious since the local temperature was close to 90 degrees and the puppies would not have survived if they hadn’t been found right away. Welsh said “That’s a window of 15 minutes — had he not called us, those dogs are dead. That guy is a hero in our mind.” John spoke to reporters from KESQ-TV, telling them “They were all sweaty and obviously they were all hungry. I was kind of in shock to see the way that she threw it…carelessly without emotion like it was just a regular old bag of trash.”

Deborah Culwell faces seven counts of animal cruelty.

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5. Thiry-eight other dogs

When authorities when to Cullwell’s home, they discovered 38 other dogs already living there. The website The Heavy reports that Chris Mayer, commander of field operations for Riverside County Animal Services, told local news, “You can imagine, it looks like a house that has 30 dogs inside. We’re impounding them because there’s nobody here to take care of them and there’s a lot of them in a small residence and it’s just not good living conditions.”

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Authorities found dozens of other dogs in her home.

6. Warning for the future

Mayer wanted to make it clear that the region has sufficient facilities to help unwanted animals. He said “There is no excuse for dumping puppies. 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.”

Social media users agree that animal dumping is unneccassary.

There is no trial date set for Deborah Culwell.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.