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Warehoused in Filth

Warehoused in Filth

A Typical Monday's Casualties

Rats were ignored on Sundays, so many were found dead on Monday. Rats signal stress by ultrasonic noises and pheromones—meaning many rats heard and sensed this family’s extreme fear.

Behm typically employed just three employees—one of those just three days a week—to care for up to 10,000 animals during weekdays. On weekends, reptiles were not attended to at all, and as of late October, rats weren’t either, which meant a sky-high body count on each Monday morning.  In just their first few days at GCB, law-enforcement officials found more than 700 dead animals.PETA’s investigator never saw GCB bring a veterinarian into the facility and was consistently turned down when he asked about providing veterinary care to any of the animals, even those who were clearly in critical condition and on death’s door.

PETA’s investigator brought obviously sick and injured animals’ suffering to the attention of Behm, the manager, and others but to no avail. Week after week, animals languished and died, including these:

  • A Hogg Island boa constrictor who was left to suffer from an untreated, grossly swollen nose for over a month after the manager first saw it. A worker used a thumbtack that he got off a bulletin board and repeatedly jabbed the snake’s face in an attempt to puncture the swollen nose while the snake struggled and writhed. The worker then repeatedly squeezed the snake’s face hard until pus erupted from the wound. But the snake’s nose swelled back up within a couple of days, and he continued to languish.
  • A weak and debilitated blue-tongue skink was left to drag his injured back leg and suffer for more than a week before dying. When PETA’s investigator told the manager that the skink needed care, the manager threw his hands in the air and exclaimed, “There is nothing I can do for him … if he dies, he dies. That’s better than him living here, I guess.”
  • For about a week, a thin, listless baby black tree monitor who was cold to the touch was left to waste away slowly before finally dying. The manager said it would be “too expensive” to euthanize the lizard. Another worker said that the animal had “to languish … [u]ntil he” died.

PETA has turned over detailed evidence of cruelty to animals at GCB to Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach’s office. Please sign the petition to urge Zellerbach to file criminal charges against all appropriate parties.

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