Today is a good day for all who work hard to fight against animal cruelty. Here are two stories that show it pays off to speak up and help those who cannot help themselves:
“You may remember that in late 2012, a two-month PETA investigation of rodent and reptile breeder and dealer Global Captive Breeders, LLC (GCB), led authorities to conduct the largest animal rescue in California history. Acting on evidence gathered by PETA, officials discovered nearly 16,000 rats and mice and more than 600 reptiles languishing in waste-filled cages at GCB, many of them starving, injured, gravely ill, and/or with no access to water.
PETA’s investigator revealed shocking and routine neglect, including that scores of rats drowned because of a faulty watering system, some died of dehydration, and reptiles slowly wasted away over the course of weeks as a result of systemic deprivation. The investigator also documented that employees killed rats by freezing them alive, shooting them with a BB gun, and slamming them against walls, shelves, and other hard surfaces. After conducting what is to this day the largest rescue of neglected rats in U.S. history, local authorities arrested Mitch Behm and David Delgado, the owner and former manager of GCB, respectively, and charged each of them with more than 100 counts of felony cruelty to animals.
Late last month, both men were sentenced after previously pleading guilty in Riverside County Superior Court and being convicted of cruelty to animals. Behm was sentenced to five years of formal probation and must pay more than $190,000 in restitution to PETA and the city of Lake Elsinore for costs associated with the investigation and the rescue of thousands of suffering animals from the facility. Delgado pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts of cruelty to animals and was sentenced to 180 days in the sheriff’s custody and five years of formal probation. While nothing can undo the misery that thousands of rats and reptiles endured at GCB, the court’s prohibition on acquiring any animals as part of their sentences will help ensure that no more animal victims will suffer at Behm’s or Delgado’s hands.”
Case no. two:
“The second case involved a series of horrific fetish videos that were being sold online. In them, puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals were being tortured in ways that would make even the most hard-hearted person sick. In one, a woman slashed the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Through some skillful sleuthing by PETA staff and help from the Animal Beta Project, we determined that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston, and just two days after PETA contacted the Houston Police Department with the evidence, officers arrested two suspects believed to be involved and charged them with animal torture.
In a court decision handed down in late May, one of those who reportedly admitted to killing hundreds of animals over the years, Ashley Richards, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of cruelty to animals. Co-defendant Brent Justice’s case is still pending in the courts, and the district attorney who prosecuted Richards’ case has now vowed to “fight at the next legislative session to increase the punishment range for this offense to better protect these animals.”