Police Investigate California Woman Suspected of Abandoning Puppies at Dumpster

April 22, 2019 Updated: April 22, 2019

Authorities are working with animal advocates to charge a person suspected of leaving a bag of puppies next to a dumpster on April 18 in California.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and the local District Attorney’s office are holding talks with Riverside County Animal Services (RCAS) about charging an unidentified woman with animal cruelty in Coachella, 133 miles east of Los Angeles.

The suspect allegedly came just after 1 p.m. local time in a Jeep sports utility vehicle to Park Lane behind the Napa Auto Parts store at 49251 Grapefruit Boulevard. She is believed to have exited the vehicle and dropped a clear plastic bag next to the recycling dumpster before driving away.

Shortly after a passerby named John rummaged through the trash, he noticed the bag had seven puppies inside, and carried it into the auto parts store.

Sheriff Officer Jose Cisneros responded to a phone call from the store shortly before 2 p.m. and collected the seven puppies. All pups were about 3-days-old and initially identified as a mix of terrier breeds.

The sheriff’s office praised John as a hero for his quick thinking since the puppies were unlikely to survive much longer due to the high daytime temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit range.

“The good Samaritan played a major role in saving theses puppies’ lives,” Commander Chris Mayer said in a YouTube post dated April 18. “His actions were humane and heroic.”

After reviewing the store’s surveillance footage that showed the puppies being abandoned, Mayer criticized the suspect’s behavior as “despicable” and her actions “shameful.”

“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” he said. “Especially in today’s age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners.”

The puppies are recovering and being nursed back to health by RCAS veterinary team in Jurupa Valley, 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

MeoowzResQ, an RACS rescue group partner organization specializing in rescue and fostering, has agreed to continue reviving the pups and will take over the bottle feeding responsibilities.

Several animal lovers used social media to show their support for the puppies.

“I pray to God they catch her,” Pandora El-Daggag said. “Humans are getting out of hand with man’s best friend, thank you.”

“Thank goodness for the auto parts store security camera, let this bring awareness to animal cruelty,” Geoff Hunt said.

“Interesting though, she almost threw the bag into the dumpster with a lid then threw them in the open one instead,” Kimberley Porter said. “Glad pups are okay. I agree with [other] posts, find mommy dog and take [the] dog away from her and reunite with [her] pups.”

“Aw poor puppies, please save the poor puppies,” Melania Madrigal said.

Caught on Tape: Woman Dumps PuppiesAnimal Services Places Pups With Rescue Group PartnerFRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019 – A…

Posted by Riverside County Animal Services on Friday, April 19, 2019

However, others were divided about exactly what extent the law can be used to bring the suspect to justice.

“The sad thing is, once this woman’s arrested she’ll probably get a slap on the wrist,” Trissa Napoleon said. “Our laws need to change and not consider our pets property.”

“Unfortunately the penalties for this are very light. She will probably just get a slap on the wrist, as in a fine,” Jacqueline Scarborough said. “The mother dog needs to be found as she is in danger of developing mastitis and, if they do find her (the woman), the mother dog needs to be taken from her. She should not be allowed to own an animal again.”