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Coachella Woman Pleads Guilty In Puppy Dumping Case

INDIO (CBSLA) — A Coachella woman who was caught on video dumping a litter of puppies in a trash bin has pleaded guilty to all counts in connection with the case.

Deborah Sue Culwell, 59, had been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty and animal abandonment and previously pleaded not guilty in the case. She changed her plea to guilty in court Wednesday and was sentenced to 365 days in county jail, according to the Desert Sun.

After she serves her sentence, which was reduced to 174 with credit for time served, she will be put on probation for seven years and prohibited from possessing animals, according to the newspaper.

Culwell was arrested on April 22 after surveillance video showed a woman dumping a plastic bag of seven newborn puppies into a trash bin outside an auto parts store in the 49000 block of Grapefruit Boulevard. The video caused widespread outrage and led to Culwell's identification and arrest within a week of its release.

The investigation also resulted in the confiscation of 38 more dogs from her home, which authorities described as being in a severe state of disrepair. The dogs, however, appeared to be in somewhat healthy condition and Culwell relinquished her ownership, allowing them to be adopted.

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