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Woman suspected of dumping puppies had 38 more dogs living in Coachella home

Authorities say the home of a woman arrested on suspicion of dumping a bag of newborn puppies in a trash bin was overrun with 38 dogs that have been confiscated.
Full Credit: Riverside County Department Of Animal Services

COACHELLA, Calif. — Authorities say the home of a woman arrested on suspicion of dumping a bag of newborn puppies in a trash bin was overrun with 38 dogs that have been confiscated.

Deborah Culwell, 54, faces up to seven felony counts of animal cruelty after investigators identified her as the woman captured on surveillance video throwing away a clear plastic bag that contained seven 3-day-old puppies in a dumpster outside an auto parts store last week.

She was arrested Monday at her home on 3rd Street in Coachella, where authorities found even more dogs living in home that was in a severe state of disrepair.

A total of 38 dogs were confiscated from the home and taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Officials say most of the dogs appear to be in somewhat healthy condition, but some were aggressive or fearful.

Images from the home taken by Animal Services officers show bare and scratched-up furniture, broken and missing floor tiles, and at least one couch that had been torn down to the springs.

The dogs impounded from the home are not available for adoption at this time, and one may be the mother of the dumped puppies. Officials are determining whether a reunion can be coordinated.

As for the newborn puppies — all of which are believed to be terrier mixes — they were all placed in foster care and are being bottle-fed.

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