Written by PETA
Earlier this month, the Detroit Zoo—a progressive facility with a compassionate history—welcomed more than 1,100 of the nearly 27,000 animals who were seized from the hellish exotic-animal warehouse of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) by Arlington, Texas, officials. But that wasn't all the zoo did! Its staff came to the animals' rescue within days of the seizure, flying from Detroit to Dallas and working around the clock at a temporary rescue facility. Several weeks later, many of the animals—including five wallabies, four sloths, three agoutis, two ring-tailed lemurs (who had spent years in a tiny cage at USGE), two coatimundis, and hundreds of reptiles, spiders, and amphibians—made the trip to Detroit, where they are under quarantine before being released into habitats that may not be their native homes, but are the next best thing.
The animals were seized on December 15 following PETA's undercover investigation inside USGE, where tens of thousands of sick and injured animals were being denied food, water, and care. Since the raid—which was more than two months ago—USGE has not bought or sold a single animal, and just last month, a second judge ruling on an appeal affirmed that none of the animals would be returned to USGE. The decision ensures liberation from the clutches of the greedy pet trade for those who would've ended up on the shelves of pet shops like PetSmart and PETCO.
Until the profit-hungry PETCOs and PetSmarts of the world stop selling animals—all of whom come from cruel suppliers like USGE—the misery will continue. By shunning all pet stores that sell live animals and telling all your friends and family members to do the same, you can help prevent more abuse of those who have no voice of their own.
Written by Logan Scherer
In what is an outstanding victory for animals and a crippling blow to the exotic pet trade, Tarrant County Court Judge Jennifer Rymell yesterday affirmed Municipal Judge Michael Smith's outstanding January 5 ruling: U.S. Global Exotics will not regain custody of the more than 26,000 animals confiscated by Arlington officials in a massive civil seizure last month.
After reviewing hours of testimony, video, and photos taken on the day of the seizure and gathered during PETA's seven-month undercover investigation of USGE, Judge Rymell affirmed Judge Smith's ruling that Jasen and Vanessa Shaw, the owners and operators of USGE, had cruelly treated all the animals seized from their business on December 15. Thousands of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, arachnids, and many other animals—including sloths, wallabies, and ring-tailed lemurs—were cruelly confined to hideously cramped, filthy litter pans, dungeon-like cattle-feeding troughs, boxes, bags, and even soda bottles. They were denied desperately needed food, water, veterinary care, and other basic care. PETA's undercover investigator documented that animals were starved and dehydrated, had resorted to eating each other out of stress and hunger, had wounds that were so deep that muscle and bone were exposed and legs were chewed off, were thrown away like trash, were intentionally frozen to death in the facility's freezers, and more.
The animals seized have been held and cared for at a facility set up by experts brought in by PETA to ensure their welfare and safety and were cared for daily by staff of the SPCA of Texas, the wonderful Detroit Zoo, the Humane Society of North Texas, and other groups. Food and supplies for these thousands of animals have been subsidized by PETA—and costs run several thousand dollars a week. The great news is that we have been able to secure permanent homes for many of the animals with the Detroit Zoo—where they will have top-notch care—and prescreened groups are lined up to take in many others!
Since the December 15 raid, USGE has effectively been dead—it has not bought or sold a single animal! This means that PETA's investigation and efforts have saved far more than 26,000 animals—the organization has spared tens of thousands of animals the misery of being captured and taken from their native homes; shipped in cramped crates, pillowcases, and containers; and kept in deplorable, hellish conditions at USGE's nasty warehouse. The animals rescued from USGE will never have to suffer at the hands of the cruel pet trade ever again.
This is a huge victory that has saved countless lives, but until the PETCOs and PetSmarts of the world stop selling animals—all of whom come from hellholes like USGE, where profit is the only thing that counts and where the lives and welfare of these animals mean nothing—the misery will continue. Many of the animals pulled out of USGE in the nick of time were headed to PetSmart and PETCO distributors nationwide. Please don't shop at PETCO or PetSmart, and tell your friends not to shop there either and never to support any pet store that sells live animals.
Written by Shawna Flavell
We've just received word that Arlington (Texas) Municipal Judge Michael Smith has divested Jasen and Vanessa Shaw—owners and operators of animal warehouse U.S. Global Exotics, Inc. (USGE)—of the more than 26,000 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids who were seized from USGE on December 15. U.S. Global Exotics, Inc., is a major player in the pet trade. For years, the company has imported and exported hundreds of thousands of animals every year for eventual sale at major pet stores and pet store chains all over the world, including at U.S.-based PETCO and PetSmart.
A PETA undercover investigator spent seven months working at U.S. Global Exotics and documented horrifically cruel conditions for animals. On December 15, Arlington officials and humane agents rescued more than 26,000 animals, including wallabies, sloths, ringtail lemurs, kinkajous, coatimundis, agoutis, hedgehogs, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, flying squirrels, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, ferrets, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, spiders, crabs, and scorpions from this facility. This seizure is believed to be the largest animal confiscation in history.
Judge Smith's decision to award custody of the animals to the city of Arlington comes on the heels of a seven-day hearing during which lawyers for the exotic-animal dealer tried every trick in the book to downplay Jasen and Vanessa Shaw's failure to provide animals in their care with basic, minimal necessities such as food, water, and adequate housing. However, the evidence that our investigator meticulously documented while inside U.S. Global Exotics' facility—as well as the evidence gathered on the day of the seizure—could not be refuted. Here is some of what we found:
While the animals at U.S. Global Exotics, Inc., have been rescued, millions of other animals in similar facilities are still suffering, and they will continue to suffer as long as people support companies such as U.S. Global Exotics by buying animals from pet stores such as PetSmart, PETCO, Petland, and others. Please share this information with everyone that you know and urge them never to buy any animals from stores and to always adopt from animal shelters and rescue groups.
Written by Karin Bennett
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.