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Attorney of Coachella woman who threw puppies in dumpster tells judge: 'Puppies aren't people'

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 15:05:39-04

COACHELLA, Calif. — The California woman accused of dumping seven puppies near a dumpster in Coachella was back in court Thursday. But it was a statement made by her attorney that drew audible gasps from the courtroom.

Outrage in the courtroom as the attorney defending Deborah Culwell says her bail shouldn't be increased because her alleged crimes are against animals and not people.

"As the law is written, puppies aren't people," said Culwell's attorney.

"I couldn't believe that. Puppies are not people. Well they are a living being, and I loved when the entire audience gasped when he had the gall to say that about these precious creatures of the earth," said Katie Phillips.

Deborah Sue Culwell is charged with seven counts of animal cruelty after tossing week old puppies into a Coachella dumpster, police also found 38 other dogs at her home.

Two of those pups now live at Katie Phillips' home where she is raising them before they find their forever home.

"Well I think from the day they were born they were probably isolated and kept away from humans. so they don't even know what human touch is all about, it's not a good thing. It's a scary thing," said Phillips.

Phillips' has taken care of hundreds of dogs and one of the dogs she took home has already found a rescue home, Scotty. As for the seven puppies thrown away in the dumpster, one later died. Culwell relinquished ownership of all her animals.