COACHELLA – On Thursday afternoon as many were preparing for Passover and Easter services and celebrations, an unidentified woman had more sinister actions on her mind. She dumped a bag of seven, newborn puppies behind an auto parts store in Coachella.
She is now under investigation for animal cruelty, according to John Welsh, public information officer for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
An employee with a Napa Auto Parts store contacted Riverside County Animal Services after a passerby discovered the bag next to a Dumpster. The store is located at 49251 Grapefruit Blvd.
Officer Jose Cisneros responded shortly before 2 p.m. and collected a trash bag, which contained the puppies, according to Welsh. All of the pups were approximately 3 days old and were believed to be terrier mixes.
Animal Services’ veterinary team members cared for the puppies and identified a rescue group partner organization to take over bottle-feeding duties. MeoowzResQ, a Southern California-based organization specializing in kitten and cat rescue and fostering, agreed to accept the pups, according to Welsh.
Officer Cisneros asked an employee at the Napa store if he could review any surveillance footage from the store security’s cameras. The employee allowed the officer to review the footage and he watched one segment that showed a vehicle driving near the rear area of the business, according to Welsh.
Just after 1 p.m. on Thursday, a woman in a Jeep pulled up, exited the vehicle carrying a plastic bag in one of her hands and walked toward a Dumpster used for recycling materials. She shut the recycling Dumpster and dropped the clear, plastic bag next in a trash Dumpster and drove away.
Shortly afterward, a passerby, named John, rummaged through the trash, noticed the bag, and brought it into the Napa store. If not for the Good Samaritan’s actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer. The mid-day temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were in the mid-90s range, Welsh said in a prepared statement.
“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving theses puppies’ lives,” Commander Chris Mayer said in a prepared statement. “His actions were humane and heroic.”
He said the woman’s actions are despicable and he and his colleagues are already communicating with Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s office in building a strong cruelty case.
“There is no excuse for dumping puppies, especially in today’s age, when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners,” Mayer said. “This was a shameful act.”
- Alleged puppies dumper: Riverside County Department of Animal Services
- Suspected Puppy Dumper: Riverside County Department of Animal Services