More than 700 dead reptiles and rats found in Lake Elsinore business
An animal neglect investigation in Lake Elsinore has led to a massive discovery of hundreds of dead reptiles and rodents inside a reptile breeding business.
Animal control officers discovered the dead animals Wednesday and were working on cataloging them, according to a press 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. The company, which breeds rats as food for snakes and reptiles, houses 6,000 to 10,000 rats, according to the paper.
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 are planning to be on site for at least two more days.
"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.
Officials say no arrests have been made.
-- Ruben Vives