NewsCovering Kern County

Actions

Coachella puppy tossed in dumpster dies

coachella.jpg
Posted at 12:04 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 15:04:33-04

COACHELLA, Calif. (KABC) — The runt of a litter of seven puppies abandoned in a hot dumpster in Coachella died Wednesday, Riverside County Animal Services says.

A foster volunteer was caring for the puppies that were believed to be three days old at the time that a woman allegedly threw the pups left in a plastic bag in a trash bin behind an auto parts store last week.

"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," Riverside County Animal Services said.

The volunteer wrote on Facebook that her "heart is so broken."

"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. i gave it everything i had in me, but he never grew. he never recovered. i wanted so much for him to make it and we all were rooting for him. we gave him so much love, but i guess god had other plans *fly free my baby* the other 6 are doing good so far, i hope that they'll hold on and keep thriving."

The puppies were rescued by a good Samaritan who spotted the bag and took it into the store. The pups were then placed in foster care, where the volunteer bottle-fed them.

A 54-year-old woman has been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of leaving the bag of seven newborn puppies in a dumpster , according to online records.

Deborah Sue Culwell was arrested Monday and charged with seven felony counts of animal cruelty in the incident, which investigators say was captured on surveillance video. Her bail was set at $10,000.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Culwell was released from custody Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court on June 18 at the Indio Larson Justice Center.

She was arrested at her Coachella home after investigators used the surveillance footage to identify her by her license plate, the county's Department of Animal Services said.

Authorities found 38 other dogs at Culwell's home and impounded them.

"Most of the dogs appeared to be in somewhat healthy condition, but some were aggressive or fearful," the county said in a statement, adding that the "house was in a state of disrepair."