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Hell on Earth: California Breeder Exposed!

Investigation update and victory: Mitch Behm,  owner of Global Captive Breeders, LLC (GCB), and David Delgado, GCB’s former manager, have pleaded guilty to numerous misdemeanor or felony counts of cruelty to animals, respectively, for their roles in the suffering and deaths of more than 16,000 animals. Behm and Degaldo have both been barred from acquiring animals, and Delgado was sentenced to 180 days in the sheriff’s custody. Read more here.

 

Pet stores want you to think about how cute the animals in the cages are—they don’t want you to know that for every cute animal on display, there are often thousands suffering and dying horribly behind the scenes in the pet trade.

For more than two months in late 2012, a PETA investigator worked undercover at Global Captive Breeders, a company that bred and sold reptiles and rats in Lake Elsinore, California. PETA’s investigator documented that some of the company’s workers, including its manager—and generally with the full knowledge of its owner, Mitch Behmneglected thousands of animals, many of them to the point of death, and cruelly killed countless more.

Based on PETA’s evidence, law-enforcement officials entered GCB on December 12 and mounted the largest rescue of neglected rats in U.S. history and the largest seizure of animals ever in California All the animals—more than 600 reptiles and 18,000 rats—were relinquished by Behm into the city’s custody, and a criminal investigation is underway.

The facility, which reeked of death, decay, and ammonia from accumulated urine and feces, typically housed up thousands of adult rats and hundreds of reptiles, including snakes, monitor lizards, skinks, tokay geckos, and sulcata tortoises, with just two full-time staffers and one part-time helper as mid-December.

Rats: Born to Die

Most of the thousands of rats who were kept at GCB were what the pet-trade industry refers to as “feeder” animals―bred and sold to be fed to snakes and other captive carnivorous reptiles kept as “pets.” Because of the facility’s chronic failure to provide animals with even their most basic requirements, the rats were not only doomed to die terrifying, painful deaths inside GCB’s walls but also born into and kept in filth and misery throughout their entire lives.

Rat With Abscessed Eye

This rat’s bloody eye deteriorated over the course of eight days, until a worker finally slammed her into a metal rack. She had a violent seizure then was thrown into the trash.

  • Rats—including those weakened by illness and suffering from injuries—were routinely grabbed by the tail and slammed into metal posts, racks, tables, and walls when workers (including the facility’s manager) decided to kill them. Many didn’t die quickly―and were thrown into trash bins or into a reptile’s cage while still alive and convulsing.
  • Some rats, including newborns, were frozen alive. Loose rats were shot with a BB gun, one rat was stomped on and maimed then whipped against a metal rack and finally killed, and several rats were bludgeoned with metal tongs and the handle of a BB gun.
  • Tubs used for housing flooded frequently, drowning countless rats and leaving hundreds of others to struggle to keep their heads above the water as it rose. Exhausted, shivering, and terrified, many mother rats watched helplessly as their newborns drowned.
  • Read more details about how these animals were warehoused and see the photo gallery.

Reptiles: Slowly Starved, Intentionally Ignored

Snakes, skinks, monitor lizards, and other reptiles at GCB were essentially left to die; they were so neglected that in many cases, even their deaths went unnoticed by management for days

Gasping for Breath

The facility was full of snakes, such as this one, who struggled to breathe. PETA’s investigator never saw GCB bring a veterinarian in to see even a single animal.

  • Behm repeatedly told workers not to care for the facility’s reptiles because his revenue was coming from the rat-breeding operation and there was “no reason to spend time up front” (where the reptiles were housed) when the reptiles weren’t generating any revenue.
  • Dozens of reptiles packed up for sale at a trade show were crammed into plastic deli cups and denied food, water, and other basic needs for at least a week.
  • Chronic deprivation was normal at GCB—reptiles often languished for weeks before finally dying, hopeless, isolated, and robbed of all that was essential to them.
  • Read more details about how these animals were warehoused and see the photo gallery.

What You Can Do

NEVER shop at a store that sells animals and share this investigation with everyone you know.

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  • Profile photo of AudreyAyala

    434 days ago

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    These “breeders” should rot in jail :(

  • 513 days ago

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    one day i hope this happens to the ********* who did this

  • Profile photo of awkwardfish

    712 days ago

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    the things I wanna do to the people that let this stuff happen are to demented to write down

  • Profile photo of jpatr1d

    744 days ago

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    Im so angery,hurt, upset… idk how to feel other then sickened by these horrible bastard people who could do things like that to animals… regardless of the type of animal no animal should be treated like that. they all have living breathing organs just like human beings… those people who did this and let it go on, should be put to the death penalty….. wtf sick bastards

  • Profile photo of kbutterc

    783 days ago

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    This sickens me. Rats are such social loving animals! No animal deserves such treatment. The poor snakes involved in this, how their life would differ if they were allowed to live in nature where they belong.

  • Profile photo of luciferia

    789 days ago

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    These a holes don’t have a heart!!! How outrageous seeing these poor animals and reptiles like this! I just want to beat the crap of those who abuse animals!!

  • Profile photo of willowz

    807 days ago

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    adopt an animal don’t buy it, and if you do, or once you have one, treat it like it is a part of yourself!!!!! not like crap!!

  • Profile photo of naturegirl

    807 days ago

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    I think that people should have to follow rules and have a permit to breed… if they HAVE to breed and can’t go to a shelter to adopt a poor pooch… respect all animals!

  • Profile photo of animals124

    816 days ago

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    am i the only one who cried during this whole video? :(:(:(:(:(:(:(

    • Profile photo of jpatr1d

      744 days ago

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      no i was in tears for like an hour…. it hurts my heart

  • Profile photo of vegetariananimallover1234

    820 days ago

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    these people should be left to rot in jail

  • Profile photo of cunningfoxxo

    831 days ago

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    this is disgusting, animals should be treat with more respect, and more laws and restrictions should be put in place on who can keep animals.

    http://becyandthebees.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Profile photo of Eleanore

    839 days ago

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    Do they believe they’re god?! Such digust they bring to this world… Their should be “breeder” laws , but wishfully “no breeders” at all

  • Profile photo of thebunnyburrow21

    841 days ago

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    all these people who abuse animals and think it is ok need to suffer big time. i could never hurt a poor defenseless animal. who would want to do something like that!!!!!!!!!!

  • Profile photo of sabreena7898

    858 days ago

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    What kind of sickos are on this earth?! It’s heartbreaking! Throwing a poor little rat up against a cage wall, and DROWNING them?! Then starving snakes? SICK!!! I hope they all go to prison & suffer as much as these animals did.

  • Profile photo of linda17

    860 days ago

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    this breaks my heart!!

  • Profile photo of nonuggets

    864 days ago

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    Why are all these psychopaths watching over these poor animals?

  • Profile photo of Valhallathemouse

    876 days ago

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    Why are there so many horrid human beings in this world???? I am ashamed to be of the same species as these monsters!!

  • Profile photo of cyndleee

    877 days ago

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    How can people just treat animals like they are nothing…it makes my stomach sick just thinking about it.

  • Profile photo of ThePocketsizedVeggie

    882 days ago

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    It made me so sick to watch…

  • Profile photo of espvc

    890 days ago

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    how dare they???!!! i can’t believe they treat animals as if its just a piece of merchandise!! i can already imagine me punching the breeder’s face

  • Profile photo of godard

    893 days ago

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    criminals! murderers!

  • Profile photo of AnayeliSalazar

    896 days ago

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    That is seriously horrendous. Animals aren’t just things we can dispose of them when we want. Just like every single living thing on this Earth it has a heart and each heart deserves to be loved.

  • Profile photo of Bookbee

    898 days ago

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    How could they do that? Just leave a still live animal to die for an entire month? Oh gosh… I’m still shivering from watching the horrible conditions these animals had to live, suffer, and die in.

  • Profile photo of alexblue

    899 days ago

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    Thank you PETA for helping to take this place down!!

  • Profile photo of jayde253

    909 days ago

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    I CAN’T BELEVE WHAT I JUST WATCHED ON THE VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! URG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 920 days ago

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    I am absolutely sickened and saddened by what I’ve seen here. These animals literally suffered and lived in pure hell. These individuals have no heart or soul and are living proof that Satan walks in various forms. How anyone can live with themselves after allowing these poor defenseless creatures to suffer and die so senselessly and painfully is unimaginable. May God have mercy on their souls.

  • Profile photo of carinaross

    922 days ago

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    People need to understand that animals have feelings, just like humans do. they can feel pain, this is horrible!

  • Profile photo of xkrazykatx

    923 days ago

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    So Sad! I have no words because this is so horiable! I was crying during the video! RIP Little animals!

  • Profile photo of tylerscribble

    923 days ago

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    This is very disturbing even for peta material. How can humans be okay with this going on in front of them?

  • Profile photo of marissamedina22

    923 days ago

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    As an owner of 2 rats this is the most depressing thing.

  • Profile photo of sadhuvedantmunijain

    923 days ago

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    when the intellectuals will lean the utility of these innocent animals, they are the back bone of the life and nature. we must respect and save them.

  • Profile photo of KelseyValois

    924 days ago

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    This is so freaking horrid I don’t know how to cuss at this! Those poor animals!