Coachella woman caught dumping puppies in a dumpster sentenced to one year in prison

The California woman who was caught on camera dumping a bag of live puppies into a dumpster has been sentenced to one year in prison, according to BuzzFeed News

Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, has pled guilty to all 14 charges stemming from the incident, in which she tossed seven newborn dogs into a large trash can in Coachella, Calif. 

Culwell was arrested in April after police identified her as the woman shown in the surveillance footage. At the time of her arrest, authorities found 38 dogs — which were “not in good condition” — living in her home, according to CNN

The judge sentenced Culwell to 365 days in jail on Wednesday, 90 of which will be served under a work release. She will also serve seven years probation after her release, during which time she will not be allowed to own any animals. 

Culwell’s story gained national attention earlier this year after the video of her dumping the animals went viral on the Internet. The footage shows Culwell drive her white Jeep to the trash can behind an auto parts store before throwing the bag of puppies inside. 

Temperatures were in the mid-90s that day, and the puppies were stuck inside the dumpster for around an hour. One of the animals died a few weeks later, but the other six survived. 

Riverside County animal services commander Chris Mayer said at the time that a “good samaritan” led to the dogs’s rescue. 

“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving [the] puppies’ lives,” Mayer said in a Facebook post. “His actions were humane and heroic.”

Mayer called Culwell’s actions “despicable” and said there was “no excuse” for her behavior. 

“Especially in today’s age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners,” Mayer said. “This was a shameful act.”

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