Deborah Sue Culwell, the woman accused of tossing seven puppies in a dumpster and hoarding 38 others, is now in custody and facing up to seven years of solitary confinement. As the hearing unfolded, tears were shed in the courtroom, but not by Culwell. In fact she remained visible unphased throughout the hearing, but animal advocates could not hold back their excitement regarding the Riverside County judge’s decision. Janeen Bahr, the foster mom to several of the 38 hoarded dogs, was among the members of the audience.
“To see the handcuffs come out. It was just like….yes, yes!” she told NBC Palm Springs.
Animal lovers, Janeen Bahr and Lisa Blodgett, who also fosters abused dogs, couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“The handcuffs were the highlight and to hear the click and to hear the click…I mean, she thought she was walking out of there,” added Lisa Blodgett.
While Lisa was ecstatic that Culwell was getting handcuffed, Janeen could not help but replay what the defense attorney said in court, prior to the arrest.
“I’ve never heard that click before, but apparently she has because her attorney says she only has two priory felonies. How many do you have?” Janeen said in disbelief.
Although her prior convictions stirred outroar in the courtroom, the ladies of S.O.A.R, an organization that’s fostering four of the 38 hoarded dogs, say we shouldn’t forget why we’re here: the dogs.
“Think of yourself never getting outside and cramped in a house with other people who are defecating, and that’s all you do all day long,” added Janeen.
Thus, it is for them that they will continue seeking justice.
“They depend on us to make their lives better, They want to be loved, they want to have a great time, they want to know they don’t have to eat furniture or sleep in crap. I put myself in their shoes, in their paws, and I feel for them,” Janeen told NBC Palm Springs.
When the ladies of S.O.A.R. were asked how they felt about Culwell being behind bars, Katie Phillips, who helped foster some of the hoarded dogs, said the answer was more than obvious.
“I am elated. That’s where she belongs, and that’s where she’ll be for a long, long time.”
The preliminary hearing has been set for Monday, July 1st.