California Woman Who Dumped 3-Day-Old Puppies in Bin Gets 1 Year in Jail

August 15, 2019 Updated: August 15, 2019

The California woman who was caught dumping seven puppies in a bin near a store in Coachella was sentenced to a year in jail.

Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, pleaded guilty to seven counts of felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor animal abandonment on Aug. 14.

The Desert Sun reported that Culwell was sentenced to 365 days in county jail. Ninety of those days will be carried out via work release.

Then, she will be prohibited from owning animals and will be on probation for seven years after she’s out of jail, the Sun reported.

Riverside County Superior Judge Harold Hopp described the case as “pretty severe.”

In April, she was arrested by police after footage showed her tossing several young puppies into a recycling bin. One of the puppies, believed to be the runt of the litter, died.

The video showed that Culwell drove a white Jeep vehicle to the scene. Then, she is seen walking to a trash area behind a store and throwing a bag next to the recycling bin outside the NAPA Auto Parts store at 49-251 Grapefruit Boulevard, USA Today reported.

The animals were left to die in 90 degrees Fahrenheit heat before a man heard the animals. The man took the animals into the auto parts store, which was air-conditioned, before they were handed over to authorities, according to the paper.

Some 38 dogs were taken from Culwell’s home and were given up for adoption after she relinquished ownership.

“I think we were a little sad that she didn’t get more than a year of jail time,” said Janeen Bahr, head of the nonprofit Society’s OutKasts Animal Rescue.

She added: “But on the other hand, when you look at what’s going on in the world today and the penal system, we’re probably lucky we got any jail time at all.”

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.