California News

Dec 19, 2012 11:45 PM by Associated Press

Breeders' 18K rodents, 600 reptiles euthanized

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) - City officials in Lake Elsinore say they have euthanized about 600 reptiles and more than 18,000 rodents that were being kept at a filthy animal breeding operation.

City spokesman Justin Carlson said in a statement Wednesday that Global Captive Breeders owner Mitch Behm surrendered custody of the animals last week.

A team of veterinarians, reptile specialists and animal cruelty experts determined that because of extreme neglect, cruelty and dangerously unhealthy conditions, euthanasia was the safest and most humane option.

In an investigation of the facility last week, more than 700 dead rats and reptiles were found, along with thousands of other animals living in filth.

Inspectors visited the Riverside County business after receiving complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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