Suspect arrested after woman caught on video tossing plastic bag full of puppies near trash bin

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COACHELLA, Calif. — A woman was arrested after a bag of puppies was found by a dumpster Thursday, KESQ reports.

At about 5:30 p.m. Monday, Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer arrested Deborah Sue Culwell, 54.

She faces up to seven counts of felony animal cruelty.

Officials also found an additional 38 dogs at the woman's home. The pets were taken by animal services.

The charges came after seven puppies were found next to a dumpster in Coachella, California, and a woman was caught on camera leaving them.

The woman is accused of leaving the newborn puppies in a plastic bag near a dumpster behind a NAPA Auto Parts store on Thursday afternoon, according to Riverside County Animal Services.

A passerby discovered the bag, and a store employee then contacted animal services. The puppies were about three days old and believed to be terrier mixes, animal services said.

"If not for the Good Samaritan's actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer," said the Riverside County Animal Services in a release. "The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range."

Animal Service's veterinary team members cared for the puppies and found a rescue group to accept and bottle feed them, according to the release.

"There is no excuse for dumping puppies," Mayer said. "Especially in today's age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act."

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