Deborah Sue Culwell was caught dumping the dogs by a CCTV camera

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 16, 2019 02:30 PM
Riverside County Animal Services

The California woman who was caught on surveillance camera throwing a litter of puppies into a dumpster in a plastic bag was sentenced to one year in jail on Wednesday.

Prior to being sentenced, Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, had pleaded guilty to 14 counts of animal cruelty and animal abandonment, KTLA, CBS News and NBC report

Culwell will serve 275 days in custody and 90 days on a work release, according to the outlets.

She had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed her plea in court.

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In April, Culwell was captured on CCTV throwing a plastic bag containing seven newborn puppies into a dumpster behind a Coachella store. The puppies were estimated to be about three days old at the time.

The bag was found by a passerby rummaging through the trash who brought it into the store, where an employee called animal services.

The puppies were about three days old, and had they been not discovered sooner, they all could have died due to the hot weather that day, when temperatures were in the 90s, the Desert Sun reports.

One of the animals died but the rest survived, the paper reports.

Additionally, investigators discovered 38 dogs in Culwell’s home who were subsequently put up for adoption after she relinquished ownership, the paper reports.

Culwell faces seven years of probation upon her release, during which she is not allowed to own an animal.

“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said in April. “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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