Animal services recover 38 dogs from home of woman accused of dumping 7 puppies in trash in SoCal

Authorities said that a woman arrested for allegedly throwing seven newborn puppies into a Southern California dumpster had 38 more dogs living in her home in deplorable conditions.

Riverside County Animal Services arrested 54-year-old Deborah Culwell on Monday at her Coachella home.


Surveillance video showed Culwell get out of a car and drop a bag containing the pups into a dumpster behind an auto parts store on Thursday. A man rummaging for recyclables found the dogs.

All of the pups were approximately 3 days old and were believed to be terrier mixes. Animal services officials said they believe the pups might not have survived the day's 90-degree heat if they hadn't been found within an hour of being dumped.

"The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies' lives," Commander Chris Mayer said. "His actions were humane and heroic."

Authorities said they found another 38 dogs at Culwell's home. They were impounded.

"We were uncertain who would care for the dogs after she was arrested, so we were forced to impound all 38," Riverside County Animal Services said in a press release.

Culwell could face charges of animal cruelty. She remained jailed and it's unclear whether she has an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.