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20K Rats, Snakes So Abused Rescuers Needed Counseling
Bosses charged with 106 counts of animal cruelty
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2013 7:07 AM CDT
A boa constrictor who hadn't eaten for weeks.   (PETA)

(Newser) – Following what PETA is calling the biggest animal seizure in California history, rescuers were so disturbed by what they saw that they needed crisis counseling. A warehouse near Los Angeles was full of some 20,000 rats, snakes, and other reptiles who faced long-term mistreatment; many were dead and maggot-ridden, and the rest had to be euthanized, the Press-Enterprise reports. Owner Mitchell Behm and former manager David Delgado of Global Captive Breeders, a wholesale animal distributor, were each charged Friday with 106 counts of animal cruelty; Delgado faces an additional 11 counts of torturing or cruelly killing rodents.

The smell of disease, urine, and feces overwhelmed the rescue team when they entered the exotic-animal distributor in December, the AP reports. Cleanup efforts cost the city of Lake Elsinore some $94,000. Animal rights groups, including PETA, had been investigating the company; PETA used an undercover informant who shot video of employees. Investigators and activists reported shocking cruelty:

  • Animals were starved and dehydrated, and "some were literally eating each other alive";
  • Workers fired BB guns at animals;
  • Video shows employees swinging a rat by its tail;
  • Animals were slammed into objects and thrown in trash cans;
  • Snakes were transported in deli cups.
The company, which was opened in 2009, had a carbon dioxide chamber for euthanizing animals, but they were "repeatedly killed ... in a very cruel, violent manner" anyway, an animal control officer wrote. PETA has disturbing photos and video. (After reading this, you'll likely need a happier animal story; here you go.)

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Jul 25, 2013 12:55 AM CDT
RE: "Apocalypso's" comments - its so very easy to be cavalier about the unnecessary cruelty that occurred. I wonder how he would react if placed in a San Quentin/GITMO environment? Its easy to be a tough guy on e-paper. I'm willing to bet that this "hero" never served a day in any combat role - I wouldn't mind "mistreating" him so that he could understand the flavor of flesh. Show me a bully to any animal and I'll show you a punk.
Jul 24, 2013 4:24 AM CDT
Oh noes, some of them were "literally eating each other alive"???? JUST LIKE THEY WOULD DO IN THE WILD??? omg, the horror!!! animals killing animals! who's responsible for this? Mother Nature must be brought to JUSTICE! LOL, this thread is HILARIOUS! You people have a ridiculously Disney-fied view of life in the animal kingdom. It's not a cartoon, it's cruel. You're all whining and boo-hooing over animals that you would consider to be disgusting vermin if they came into your house uninvited, and call an exterminator to poison. Yes, any animal cruelty or abuse is unfortunate. But when a cockroach runs into my house, I stomp on it; you can call me inhumane and keep yours as "pets" if you want to. Let me know how that works out. You say "pet rat", I say "bubonic plague".
Jul 23, 2013 8:33 PM CDT
no big deal here just part of mish o s school lunch program!