28 Cruelty Charges Filed Against Pet Trade Manager Following PETA Sting

Animal Mill Where Staff Were Caught Freezing Animals Alive and Denying Them Veterinary Care Remains Under Federal Investigation

For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Douglass Township, Pa. – Following a PETA exposé of Holmes Farm, a massive Pennsylvania animal mill, the Douglass Township Police Department today charged facility manager Clinton “Art” Holmes with 28 counts of cruelty to animals. Each of the charges is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750. The court may also prohibit anyone convicted from owning and working with animals.

“It’s too late for the animals at Holmes Farm who were frozen alive and denied care for injuries and illnesses, but the man responsible must now answer for what they went through,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges shoppers to remember that animals sold in pet stores come from massive warehouses—and never to buy from stores that sell live animals.”

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed PETA’s findings, including that animals were deprived of adequate water and veterinary care. The USDA found at least 117 violations of 14 federal regulations, and personnel told inspectors that they “learned” how to kill unwanted animals “on the internet.” Holmes Farm remains under federal investigation. USDA inspectors have also repeatedly cited Art Holmes’ Berks County animal-breeding business, Arts Animals, for additional violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Holmes Farm is a supplier of guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, gerbils, and other small animals to stores along the East Coast. Following PETA’s exposé, Petco, PetSmart, and Pet Supplies Plus all announced that they had dropped it as a supplier. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has released seven exposés revealing the abusive conditions endured by animals who are bred for sale at big-box pet store chains.

Broadcast-quality video footage and photographs from PETA’s investigation are available. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind