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Woman Arrested on Suspicion of Throwing 7 Newborn Puppies Into Dumpster in Coachella

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Officers arrested a woman in Coachella Monday on suspicion of dumping seven newborn puppies into a dumpster behind an auto parts shop, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said.

Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, is seen being taken into custody outside her home on April 22, 2019. (Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services)

Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, was taken into custody at her home at around 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

A woman was caught on video pulling up in a Jeep behind the store at 49251 Grapefruit Blvd. at around 1 p.m. Thursday then getting out with a clear plastic bag, walking towards some dumpsters and tossing the bag full of puppies into the trash, then driving away.

A man rummaging through the dumpster spotted the bag within an hour of the incident and took it to the store, authorities said.

The 3-day-old puppies survived and were cared for by Animal Services.

The puppies tossed into a dumpster in Coachella are seen right after their rescue on April 19, 2019, (left) and in a photo provided by volunteer caring for them three days later (right.) (Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services.)

The puppies tossed into a dumpster in Coachella are seen right after their rescue on April 18, 2019, (left) and in a photo provided by volunteer caring for them three days later (right.) (Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services.)

During the arrest, officers found around 30 dogs at Culwell's home, authorities said.

"We needed to impound those animals to make sure they were properly fed and cared for at our shelter in Thousand Palms," an Animal Services spokesperson said.

Culwell is facing up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty, the Department of Animal Services said.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the investigation.

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