County animal control officers seized 38 dogs on April 22 from a Coachella residence after the owner was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty.
The owner, Deborah Sue Culwell, is suspected of willfully abandoning seven newborn puppies by tossing them into a trash container in Coachella on April 18. The cruelty case allegation is now under review at the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.
Six of the seven puppies survived the dumping. They are still being cared for by a foster volunteer.
The 38 seized dogs remain at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. These dogs will be made available for adoption or transfer to the department’s rescue group partner organizations this week. Meanwhile, Riverside County Animal Services’ veterinary staff members will coordinate the dogs’ spay and neuter surgeries as soon as possible.
Photo Credit Riverside County Department of Animal Services
“We’re not surprised by the admission,” Commander Chris Mayer said. “On the day we seized the dogs, we noticed that several of the dogs appeared to have had recent litters.”
Animal Services Director Allan Drusys said he believes the foster volunteer is doing an excellent job nursing the surviving puppies. At this point, reintroducing the two females with the litters is not planned, he said.
“The woman who has graciously dedicated many hours and a fair amount of her own money toward these abandoned puppies is doing a great job,” said Dr. Drusys, the county’s chief veterinarian. “We don’t want to interrupt her wonderful work with the two mothers, especially since time has passed and the mothers may reject the pups at this stage.”