Woman pleads not guilty to dumping puppies in trash

A Southern California woman authorities say was caught on surveillance video dumping a bag of 3-day-old puppies into a trash can has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty.

The Desert Sun of Palm Springs says Deborah Culwell appeared in a Riverside court Tuesday.

Culwell lives in Coachella, a desert city east of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors say Culwell dumped a plastic bag containing seven palm-sized puppies into a store dumpster in April. They were left in sweltering heat before a man heard their cries and rescued them.

The pups, believed to be terrier mixes, were treated for dehydration and malnourishment but one later died.

Another 38 dogs were rescued from Culwell's home.

Culwell could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of 14 felony and misdemeanor counts.


This story has been corrected to show incident occurred in April.