Feds Find Severe Neglect, Suffering at Local Small-Animal Dealer


Recently published U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports of local small-animal dealer Rancho Raton, Inc., reveal horrific conditions and neglect, including “mummified” carcasses in two gerbil enclosures, an apparently paralyzed hamster, and live animals confined alongside the rotting remains of dead cagemates.

Federal veterinarians documented that no veterinary care had been provided for a hamster who was dragging his or her hind legs, a hamster with a large scab on his or her face, and several wounded guinea pigs. Decomposing carcasses were repeatedly found in multiple gerbil enclosures, and a mother guinea pig and her litter were held in a cage filled with feces. Inspectors noted an overwhelming smell of ammonia from hamsters’ accumulated waste and rodent droppings in rooms where more than 500 guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits were kept.

“Small, vulnerable animals were left to languish in filth and pain in this hellhole,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Because of suffering like this, PETA urges people always to adopt animals from shelters and never buy them from stores, which sell animals supplied by cruel dealers like this one.”

In light of the findings, PETA has asked Atascosa County Attorney Lucinda A. Vickers to investigate Rancho Raton, Inc., and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against those responsible for severely neglecting animals there. The group’s letter is available upon request.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

The post Feds Find Severe Neglect, Suffering at Local Small-Animal Dealer appeared first on PETA.

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