By Nicole Darrah
Published April 23, 2019
Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, was arrested at her home in Coachella on Monday, Riverside County Animal Services confirmed to Fox News. Surveillance video allegedly captured her dumping the puppies behind an auto parts store on Thursday, footage of which was released to the public in the quest to find the woman.
Investigators said there were seven puppies in the bag — all believed to be terrier mixes and around 3 days old, and now doing well in the care of a foster volunteer.
When Culwell was taken into custody, animal services discovered 38 dogs at her house, officials said. Animal control officers worked for hours to remove the animals from the house which was described as "overrun with other dogs."
"Most of the dogs appeared to be in somewhat healthy condition, but some were aggressive or fearful," John Welsh, of Riverside County Animal Services, said in a news release. "The house was in a state of disrepair."
Photos released of the dogs showed them hiding in corners and underneath furniture.
It's not immediately clear when or if the dogs will be available for adoption, as they are considered "confiscated animals," Welsh said. The mother of the seven puppies dumped in Coachella "may have been" one of the dogs at Culwell's home, according to officials.
Culwell faces up to seven felony counts of animal cruelty. She was booked at a local jail Wednesday night, animal control said.