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Chinchilla Breeder: ‘If They Don’t Work Out, I Pelt ’Em’

Written by Alisa Mullins | August 29, 2014

Two PETA fieldworkers flew to California to help remove hundreds of animals from a chinchilla ranch that we succeeded in closing—and they didn’t come back empty-handed.

Chinchillas Brad and Angie

In their past lives, this pair was kept as “livestock” at one of the largest chinchilla farms in California. Like the hundreds of other chinchillas warehoused in cramped cages there, these curious girls had no real life to speak of—unless staring at rows of other cages counts. Chinchillas are social animals who naturally live in large groups and enjoy burrowing, climbing, jumping, and playing. At the farm, they had no opportunity to do any of these things.

They were even denied basic medical care: None of the chinchillas ever saw a veterinarian—even for emergencies. The owner amputated animals’ limbs with wire snips—using six drops of brandy instead of anesthetics, claiming that “they don’t feel pain, I guess, very much.” She also said this about chinchilla deaths: “I usually have so many animals that if I lose one, it’s not a catastrophe.”

Chinchillas who didn’t “work out” as companions met a gruesome fate: toe-to-ear electrocution. This crude method of slaughter, used on many fur farms, makes the animals go rigid but leaves them conscious to experience all the pain of a full-blown heart attack. The animals are then skinned, and their pelts are turned into hats, scarves, coats, and blankets. Our investigator saw a freezer containing pelts that was well hidden from the public eye.

When PETA found out that all 424 chinchillas were going to be electrocuted and skinned if the farm—which was up for sale—couldn’t find a buyer, we approached our patron Sam Simon. Without hesitation, he said, “Let’s get them!”

With the exception of these two, all the rescued chinchillas are currently at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, awaiting adoption.

At PETA’s shelter, in the Sam Simon Center (PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters), the lovely pair above have each other and are taking dust baths, eating fresh Timothy hay and rose hips, and playing with their new toys—but we’re eager to find them a permanent home together.

Brad and Angie Chinchillas

Are you able to make the commitment to daily care, including veterinary care, for these two chinchillas for up to 20 years? (Yes, they can live that long!) If so, please e-mail to find out more.


Commenting is closed.
  • Abbe Goidel says:

    I would live to adopt these 2. Please send me information for adoption.

  • Anita Rosinola says:

    I also hope the people who were responsible for torturing these chinchillas were prosecuted!

  • Anita Rosinola says:

    I hope they will find a good home with people who will love and care for them. I am here in New Jersey so it would be difficult for me to adopt them. I do have a chinchilla and he is 9 years old right now and I can’t imagine anyone doing harm to them . It is just horrifying to know what is going on in this world with animals. I pray they will have a good life and thank God for the person who saved them.

  • Ellie says:

    For anyone interested in adopting chinchilla’s, here is a link which may be helpful. Chinchilla’s are not for everyone so if you don’t have experience with them, take the time to become well informed/educated about their habits, needs, care taking, handling and preferences prior to adopting.

  • Mambo mer says:

    I love chinchillas they are so cute like rabbits THANK YOU PET FOR SAVING I WOULD TOTALLY ADOPT

  • Cheryl says:

    I want them! Email sent!!

  • judy cott says:

    I would adopted these 2 I have a love for all animals

  • Marlene Bargiel says:

    I would love to have them but I live in Sacramento, CA. My nephew had them and they were just great pets. I loved them.

  • karen haddon says:

    i luv chinchillas i have had 4 before and they are great little crtters they are sutch beatiful animals and rll in the chinchilla dust