Thornton Police’s Search of Neglectful ‘Pet’ Trade Dealer Prompted by PETA Investigation

City Acts Based on Secret Video; County Officials Fail to Rescue Thousands From Second Facility Where Rats Drowned, Starved

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2014

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Thornton, Colo. – Today, PETA is releasing its findings of neglect and cruelty to animals gathered during its eyewitness investigation at Jurassic Pets, LLC, a pet store in Thornton, which led the Thornton Police Department to execute a search warrant at the store on Wednesday. The store is run by Lynn and Kenneth Kubic, who have been breeding animals since 1985. Video footage and photographs captured during PETA’s investigation show that store staff attempted to kill rats and mice by “whacking” them against surfaces—leaving some twitching and gasping for breath after the blows—and admitted, along with Lynn Kubic, that they freeze rodents and reptiles alive, a cruel method of killing that causes suffering over a prolonged period of time. And animals at Jurassic Pets were routinely denied drinking water.

But Adams County officials, who have jurisdiction over a second business, Willards Rodent Factory—a breeding facility owned by the same family—have failed to take action, despite the evidence of egregious cruelty that PETA handed over to sheriff’s officials on October 2. PETA is calling on them to seize the thousands of rats, mice, and other animals still languishing there. At this facility, animals were typically fed only monthly and food became moldy, was contaminated with feces, or ran out. Rats and mice drowned in flooded tubs routinely and were found dead and rotting in bins saturated with waste. The Kubics routinely denied animals veterinary care and euthanasia, including for a weak and thin rat whose facial injuries were so severe that her nose and upper jaw were missing and for a hedgehog who went without adequate veterinary care for months for an eye infected so badly that it shriveled and lost all vision. Some of these animals were thrown outdoors to be prey for the cats kept around the barn, cats whose kittens were rounded up and sold.

“The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has sat on evidence of widespread cruelty for months, and PETA is calling on officials to do their job and seize the animals still in danger at Willards Rodent Factory without further delay,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “The good news is that the city of Thornton has already acted to stop these abusers from bashing or freezing to death more animals at Jurassic Pets.”

This is not the first time that PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has exposed extreme animal suffering in the “pet” trade. A previous PETA investigation prompted the largest-ever seizure of neglected rats in U.S. history, from an abusive animal dealer in California. An investigation in Texas prompted the seizure of more than 26,000 animals, the largest seizure of animals in U.S. history.

Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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

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