Animal Cruelty: Police have arrested a woman who was caught on camera disposing a bag full of puppies in a trash can behind a store.
The 55-year-old, Deborah Sue Culwell was identified as the woman seen in the security camera footage that was released Friday. In the video, Sue driving a white Jeep is caught quickly chucking a bag with the puppies inside trash can.
The Riverside County Animal Services said in a Facebook post the incident happened in Coachella on Thursday.
There were 7 puppies inside the bag, Fox News reports. All were three-days-old and were believed to be terrier mixes.
“Shortly afterward, a passerby, named John, rummaged through the trash and noticed the bag and brought it into the Napa store. If not for the Good Samaritan’s actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer,” said Riverside County Animal Services in its Facebook post, sharing a video of the puppies and the woman.
John Welsh, a spokesman for animal services, told BuzzFeed News that because the puppies were dumped in a sealed plastic bag, had they not been discovered as soon they had, they would not have survived.
Temperatures in Coachella that day were in the mid-90s, he added.
“That’s a window of 15 minutes — had he not called us, those dogs are dead,” Welsh said. “That guy is a hero in our mind.”
The puppies have since been transported to a local rescue group, where they’re being bottle-fed.
“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,” Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said in a news release. “This was a shameful act.”
Officials said they were planning to pursue a felony charge of animal cruelty against the woman.