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Victory! Global Captive Breeders Abusers Convicted

Written by PETA | May 22, 2014

Update: Mitch Behm, the owner of Global Captive Breeders, LLC (GCB), and David Delgado, the facility’s former manager, pleaded guilty to and were convicted of cruelty to animals in Riverside County Superior Court of California.

Behm pleaded guilty to a dozen counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and was sentenced to five years of formal probation. He also must pay more than $190,000 in restitution to PETA and the City of Lake Elsinore for costs associated with the investigation and the rescue of more than 16,000 suffering animals from the facility. Behm is prohibited from entering into any business venture involving animals and from acquiring any animals.

Delgado pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts of cruelty to animals and was sentenced to 180 days in the sheriff’s custody and five years of formal probation. Delgado must also complete 250 hours of community service in a program that does not involve animals and is prohibited from acquiring animals.

While nothing can undo the horrific suffering that thousands of rats and reptiles endured at GCB, the provisions of Behm’s and Delgado’s sentencing will help ensure that no future victims will suffer at their hands.

Originally posted July 22, 2013:

Riverside County, California, authorities have arrested Mitch Behm and David Delgado, the owner and former manager, respectively, of Global Captive Breeders, LLC (GCB), a rodent and reptile breeder and dealer. A two-month PETA undercover investigation of GCB led to the largest animal rescue in California history. Both men have been charged with 106 counts of felony cruelty to animals, each of which is punishable by up to $20,000 in fines and up to 36 months behind bars. Delgado also faces 11 more felony charges of torturing or killing rodents.

In December, acting on evidence gathered by PETA, officials discovered nearly 16,000 rats and mice and 600 reptiles languishing in waste-filled cages at GCB, many of them starving, injured, gravely ill, and/or with no access to water. The ensuing operation was the largest rescue of neglected rats in U.S. history.

PETA’s investigation uncovered routine, severe neglect, including scores of rats who drowned because of a faulty watering system; rats who died of dehydration; mother rats who were confined to bins so cramped that they could not even sit upright, groom themselves, or properly nurse their young; reptiles who slowly wasted away over the course of weeks as a result of systemic deprivation; and more. PETA’s investigator also recorded employees who killed rats by freezing them alive, shooting them with a BB gun, and slamming them against walls, shelves, and other hard surfaces.

In March, actor Jenna Dewan Tatum joined the more than 35,000 people who signed PETA’s petition calling for charges to be filed. Tatum sent a letter urging the Riverside County district attorney to seek justice for the animals.

This is not PETA’s first encounter with Behm. In the mid-1980s, when he was a college student, Behm videotaped himself throwing mice, rats, and rabbits into a tub with ferrets, who attacked and killed them. He admitted to conducting these unapproved “experiments” in part for his own “enjoyment,” but the statute of limitations had expired by the time law-enforcement authorities discovered that video footage.

Please show this to anyone who is even tempted to buy a pet rat, a snake or any small or “exotic” animal to keep at home.  We must not subsidize this wretchedly cruel trade. Ever.

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  • Put their faces on line please.

  • Thank you PETA! Please work on stricter and harsher punishment laws for these animal abusers.

  • JEANINA BREWSTER says:

    THEY SHOULD THROW AWAY THE KEY SO THEY CAN’T HURT ANY ANIMAL AGAIN. PUNISH THEM. DON’T JUST SLAP THEIR HANDS. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. IF I WERE A JUDGE, THEY’D GO TO PRISON FOR ABUSING ANIMALS. THROW THE KEY AWAY!!!!

  • Richard Hofman says:

    I wish them the most long punishment possible…

  • Just so so sad!! The dis regard for life…it is beyond me!

  • Glynis Martin says:

    Why only probation? If they did this to a human they would be in prison. I don’t appreciate it when people like this are allowed to walk the same streets as my children!!!

  • Hilda Grddes Higney says:

    Thank you PETA, Yes it is just fantastic that this bunch got caught but 120 days ha they will just start over again in a most remote location or under some different name . As this type of so called humans are ust like fleas they are everywhere! I cannot understand the Law concerning the abusers, in Canada and USA. why can they not give these low lifes stiff sentences when caught torturing/abusing animals, then maybe when the rest of these abusers/torturers see that the Law has stiff sentences plus fines and never to go near an animal when they get out of prison, NEVER,You do such great work PETA, must be very very difficult work . I myself would like to work with PETA but this is impossible, I think!

  • Lindsay says:

    Just refusing to shop at these places is simply not enough , it will continue to happen, it has to be stopped all together!! Thank you PETA

  • Tahler says:

    I remember when I saw this horrific news on TV. So glad they’ve been convicted. Thank you, PETA!

  • Marissa says:

    PETA you are my heroes!!!! Thank you for rescuing them.
    I can’t believe the cruelty these babies were put through. Just imagining it hurts my heart.

  • BARB NOEL DAMIEN says:

    THANK GOD FOR PETA-

  • Hristina says:

    Bravo PETA!Thank you!

  • mary swilling says:

    I’m so grateful for the animal rescue folks, and all they do.

  • As a pet rat owner I understand what amazing souls rats are. Good news PETA!

  • KAZIA says:

    STOP TORTURING ANIMALS!!!!! STOP!!!!! STOP!!!!! PLEASE…

  • Diane Pease says:

    Thank you PETA. Well done.

  • Ellie B. says:

    Another Thank you here to PETA. I own kissable pet rats and they feel pain the way we do. When I trim their nails they squeak which says they’re protesting. My heart goes out to all those abused and neglected animals. How a person can be a part of animal cruelty and go to sleep at night is unfathomable. I hope the animals who survived were placed in loving homes where they are treated with the respect they deserve.

  • Dorothy says:

    What I don’t understand is why people who say they love animals are ok with supporting the cruel use of feeder animals? St. Paws, a thrift store in Colorado Springs that donates their earnings to animal shelters gives money to a snake rescue that uses feeder animals as well as giving to a wildlife rehab. facility that uses feeder animals. I just don’t get it. They would be up in arms if dogs or cats were used as feeder animals for, say, an alligator rescue. But it’s ok for rats, mice and small rabbits to be treated like this? I can only conclude that sometimes people who say they love animals really don’t.

  • great work PETA you have to be commended for highlighting this horrible cruelty on defenceless little animals pity the courts were so lenient that’s all I can say

  • joan Carter says:

    Thank you for all your endeavors to help all these helpless animals etc. I can not eat any meat for the heart ache I carry for tortures too nunerous to comprehend or read. I can not reach anyone with all the sufferings as they wont let me tell them. I wish it could be on News Stations so some at least would take a stand. I contribute every month to my local Humane Society but can not give help to all I wish I could. The torture is on my mind every day and as I go by Meat Counter and when I see meats in peoples basket. We live in a Cruel World that I did not know existed.

    • Laura says:

      Some people don’t seem to give small, not-so-cute animals such as reptiles and rodents compassion. Thank you for speaking up for all animals PETA.

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