Deborah Sue Culwell's attorney made a statement that drew gasps in the courtroom Thursday. In an attempt to stop the bail amount from being raised, Joseph Cavanaugh argued that "puppies aren't people."
Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony counts of animal cruelty. She also has a lengthy criminal history with convictions ranging from check fraud to drug possession.
Police say Culwell left the 3-day-old puppies, believed to be terrier mixes, in a trash bin on April 18.
MORE: Coachella puppies dumped: Woman pleads not guilty to 7 felony counts of animal cruelty
Surveillance video allegedly links her to the crime. It shows a woman stepping out of a white Jeep, peering into a dumpster used for recyclables, then dropping the bag filled with the puppies into a pile of trash behind Napa Auto Parts in Coachella before driving away.
ALSO: Coachella puppies dumped: Look inside Deborah Culwell's run-down home where 38 dogs were found
After she was arrested in April, animal control officers impounded 38 other dogs that were found in her home, living in run-down conditions.