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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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  • Summer says:

    Amazing job, we need more people and organizations like you in the world.

  • PETA says:

    @flighty Please read the following article explaining that there is no such thing as a ‘responsible breeder.’ http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/responsible-breeders.aspx

  • flighty says:

    this is why you should always buy from a rebutable breeder who can show you the condition of his/hers animals before purchase, pet shops cant always be trusted

  • Caroline says:

    I own 3 beautiful intelligent (smarter then most people I know!!) rats. I love a good story on justice for our wonderful loving pets.

  • Marcia Oyler says:

    This was soooo hard to watch Their suffering was awful. My hope is that the under cover person was able to secret away some of the suffering. Thank you for all you do. I’ve done rescue most of my life and can’t fathom how humans can be so inhumane.

  • Waltraud says:

    ONE MONSTER LESS – GOOD NEWS

  • Stanka says:

    Help the Animals please !!

  • Alexy says:

    I love rats to death and this video sickened me. I cannot believe how cruel some people can be. Thank you Peta for stopping these horrible people! Keep up the amazing work!

  • Sheila says:

    THANK YOU PETA, and thank you Riverside County authorities – you are my heroes!

  • Elvira Boezio says:

    Creo que lo peor que le puede pasar a la humanidad es….perder la humanidad. Si estamos “arriba” de la escala zoológica, no nos priva de pertenecer a ella…y sin embargo, no tenemos ética con aquellos que comparten la misma escala zoológica que nosotros, los humanos. Somos unos desgraciados, sin compasión.

  • Deb says:

    Thank you, PETA. I had no idea that the little cuties in my pet store came from such dreadful places. I honestly had never thought about where they came from. I absolutely didn’t think it was some horrible death camp warehouse. How does anyone live with themselves after treating innocent creatures so horribly? In any case, thank you again, keep up the good work shutting these places down.

  • Michaela says:

    Thank you so much, PETA, for putting an end to this suffering and for being a voice to other creatures facing injustice.

  • Lisa D says:

    Thanks, PETA, for putting a stop to the torture!

  • BARAKAT SOPHIE says:

    Great news :) and thanks PETA…

  • Karla sanchez says:

    Sigan adelante con estas iniciativas, para lograr justicia a los animales q no pueden expresarse.

  • Christian Zup says:

    stop the animal tortur

  • K Santos says:

    Pet World on Mercury Blvd in Hampton Va is the same way. Many of us have rescued rats from there and all were in I’ll confined spaces and treated horribly by staff, and all had to be treated for respiratory problems. Nursing rats are kept in a 10 gal tank all their lives till they die just for the purpose of nursing the babies they get in. It’s horrible and I wished they were investigated since PETA HQ is in Norfolk!

  • Tejash Patel says:

    Very happy to know the punishment about these two cruel men.

  • PHILLY RAT RESCUE says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS GREAT NEWS!!!!

  • Carla* says:

    My Donation has been sent!! Thank-you!!

  • Suzanne says:

    Fantastic work PETA… My heart tugs to think of all the animals suffering at those insanely cruel hands. Please keep on going.

  • Pascale Prudhomme says:

    Stop aux souffrances sur les animaux. Ils ont le droit de vivre comme nous.

  • hody says:

    thanks a lot PETA, way to go, great!!!!

  • lola says:

    Goood job PETA!!! Keep on fighting….

  • Carolyn Wats says:

    Thank all at PETA for saving innocent lives from torture!!

  • victor espiña ribeiro says:

    CONGRATULATIONS PETA, GOD BLESS YOU!!!

  • Emanuela Lenoci says:

    Many thanks for your help, I’m very very happy for this victory, Best regards, Emanuela Lenoci

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for doing what you do. Most people wouldn’t even be concerned about rats and reptiles because they think they are gross. You guys ROCK!

  • Mitch says:

    I hope these idiots end up doing some time, their business closed for good, and hit where it counts, their wallets.

  • Deborah H says:

    Good job Peta! Thank you! So glad animals have you as their police :)

  • A New Dawn says:

    @Agusrod-umm, really? Prison and fines are not stiff enough penalties? These men will be serving long prison sentences and most likely will never be able to pay off the fines that are going to be imposed so they will be living in poverty after they get out of prison. So am I to assume that you would like these men tortured and starved or even killed? I’m thinking that is what you are inferring. Why would you impose such penalties on these men when you obviously oppose what they did to these animals? The morality you speak of is nonexistent in you as well. I agree what they did was downright disgusting, but to wish such penalties on these men is just as disgusting as the crimes that were uncovered. I laugh at most of you people on here preaching the illusions of animal rights. My post will not remain on here long I am sure, but at least one of you will read this and to you I say this. “Get down off your cross you social elitist snob, and do something helpful, like give a homeless guy a bowl of hot soup”

  • Ron says:

    than you Peta and I always SHARE your findings with EVERYONE so others can do the same.

  • Jackie says:

    Hi. I wish to foes people on Facebook so I can sign animal protection petitions and share with similar people so we can spread the help , thank you. Jackie

  • jeannine wietrich says:

    Pas de cruaute sur les animaux , ils ont un coeur et un cerveau comme les humains et ils souffrent comme nous !

  • gabriele joerg says:

    I myself have rats and mouse as pets, they are such lovable and intelligent animals and deserve better. The charge of this peron is completely correct and welcomed.

  • Dunja says:

    L’ uomo è il solo animale che arrossisce. Ma anche l’unici che ne abbia bisogno.

  • Kurt Amsler says:

    Goood job PETA!!! Keep on fighting….

  • Cesare Milani says:

    Many thanks for your help, I’m very very happy for this victory. Best regards, Cesare Milani

  • anka says:

    stop this now

  • Joseph Schoonbroodt says:

    Great!!!

  • Agusrod says:

    Unfortunately, the law is too mild with this people (I shouldn’t call them people because they have no morality at all). They deserve much more severe punishment.

  • germaine says:

    Noi tutti dobbiamo sempre essere uniti per combattere ogni crudeltà contro gli animali

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    A good news to start my day. Thanks PETA and every lover of humanity… :)

  • carlos says:

    Dejemos a los animales de una vez por todas, en paz.

  • MaryP says:

    Great news. Excellent work PETA. Now let’s hope justice is served and Behm and Delgado are put away for a very long time. My only concern is that while prison gets them away from innocent animals, it doesn’t ‘fix’ what’s wrong with these 2 individuals to begin with; that is, the fact that they are both evil, cruel, psychopaths who will never change their behavior. What happens after they get out? I’m hoping that science will one day (soon please) have a way to cure or control these kinds of urges that some sick people have.

  • Anil Chandolia says:

    Thank you very much Peta I LOVE PETA

  • Rikki says:

    This is just cruel. Go vegan!

  • Jenni Hamilton says:

    that is so horrible. how does someone like that sleep at night. and who are they? are they next door?

  • KC says:

    WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH U HEARTLESS PEOPLE! IS THIS THE KIND OF LEGACY YOU WANT TO LEAVE TO THIS WORLD BEFORE YOU DIE?? IS IT REALLY WORTH THE MONEY?

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