A woman was arrested earlier this week in Coachella on suspicion of dumping a bag of newborn puppies in a bin in 90°F (32°C) heat.
Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, was arrested by Riverside County Animal Services on April 22, and now faces up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty after a passerby spotted the woman putting the bag of puppies into the dumpster.
The young dogs were collected by officers from the animal services, who deemed the puppies to be around three days, and were terrier mixes.
Sadly, one of the puppies has since died, after failing to recover from the traumatic incident, TMZ reports.
A volunteer from the animal services said:
The little one might have been on the bottom of the bag when the woman dumped the puppies into a trash bin. He was just so weak and held on for as long as he could.
When I got him he was pale and kind of flat looking, so I think he was the cushion that saved his siblings. As the lady threw them in the bag, I think he was at the bottom and took the hit when all of his siblings landed on him.
In a post on Facebook, the animal shelter wrote:
Unfortunately we have learned one of the dumped puppies has died. The very kind foster volunteer contacted us last night and shared the bad news. She said she believes the runt of litter just could not make a comeback. She said the little one might have been on the bottom of the bag when the woman dumped the puppies into a trash bin and, possibly, just never recovered from that traumatic moment.
You can watch the incident here:
Riverside County Animal Services said the actions of the good samaritan who got the puppies out of the bin were ‘humane and heroic’.
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.
John Welsh, the chief of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, spoke to NBC Los Angeles about the cruel act, saying:
You can clearly see the bag of puppies being dumped into the dumpster. There’s clearly not a level of intelligence that’s going to be used if you’re going to toss animals.
The puppies were left in the dumpster in the sweltering heat for around an hour.
If Culwell is convicted on all counts, she could face a maximum of six years behind bars.
The shelter hopes to re-home the surviving puppies once they are fully recovered from the ordeal. Thankfully, the volunteer added the remaining six dogs are ‘appearing to thrive’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.