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More than 700 dead rodents, reptiles found at Lake Elsinore firm

Authorities in Riverside County are looking into a Lake Elsinore reptile-breeding business after more than 700 dead reptiles and rodents were found there.

The business houses 6,000 to 10,000 rats, according to the paper.

"Our primary focus at this point is to ensure the health and well-being of the animals on the site, " said Willa Bagwell, executive director of Animal Friends of the Valley, which volunteered to remove the carcasses from the business.

Animal control officers discovered the dead animals Wednesday and were working on cataloging them, according to a statement from the city, and the Riverside Press-Enterprise. So far, the newspaper said, more than 700 dead rats and reptiles have been counted within the business.

In the city's statement released Thursday, spokesman Justin Carlson said the investigation was launched after complaints were received about Global Captive Breeders on Dec. 7 from the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and several others.

The company's website says it has made several improvements to the building to ensure "optimal conditions" for each species, as well as to create "an effective system for feeding, cleaning and breeding" all animals.

Officials say no arrests have been made.

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