COACHELLA, CA (KABC/CNN) - A 54-year-old woman in California faces up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty after officials say she dumped a bag full of newborn puppies into a pile of trash.
Deborah Culwell, 54 was arrested Monday at her Coachella, CA, home. At the time, about 38 dogs were found on her property. They were taken to a shelter to make sure they were properly fed and cared for, according to John Welsh of Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Officials say Culwell was caught on surveillance video Thursday throwing away a plastic bag filled with seven puppies, believed to about 3 days old, near a Napa Auto Parts store in Coachella.
"Who the heck does that? It's just ridiculous that someone has a heart to even do that to a puppy, let alone seven puppies,” said an unidentified Napa Auto Parts employee.
Luckily, a good Samaritan discovered the dogs, and animal services managed to save them.
"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 just couldn't leave them there,” said the Samaritan, who did not want to be identified.
Authorities say if not for the Samaritan, the puppies may not have survived. The temperature in the area was in the mid-90s.
"It was horrific. What was going through her head, I have no idea,” an unidentified man said.
The puppies are now in the care of an animal rescue group and are doing well.