Animal welfare officers rescued 38 dogs after their owner was spotted throwing seven puppies in a dumpster.
By, 25 Apr 2019
Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, from South Carolina, was captured by a CCTV camera as she abandoned the seven pups in a dumpster behind a car-repair shop. Fortunately, a good Samaritan heard the puppies crying and called for help. John Welsh is the chief of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. He said:
"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 (who were less than a few days old) are now in the care of a foster family.
Investigators track down the suspect
Investigators identified Culwell by her vehicle license plate.
When officers went to question Cullwell, they discovered dozens of dogs living in squalid conditions. According to one of the officers,"the house was overrun" with dogs. It took the team the entire day to round up the pups, and the final count came to 38.
Although the majority of animals were in good physical condition, some were fearful or aggressive.
The dogs are being kept at Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Vets will carry out a physical and behavioural assessment of each animal before they can be considered for adoption.
Animal services are planning to submit seven felony cases of animal cruelty to the district attorney's office.
Tough penalties for criminals
The state of South Carolina has strict animals cruelty laws. Convicted felons can expect up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Exclusive video: Woman caught on camera allegedly dumping puppies into Coachella dumpster in 90-degree weather arrested on animal abuse charges. @TonyNBCLA reports: https://t.co/OgHQ1QdONB pic.twitter.com/Gz163639dC— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) April 23, 2019