We dare you to look at a chinchilla and not squeak about how adorable they are. Seriously, chinchillas are so precious. Their cuteness however, has a downside. Due to their irresistible fuzzy fur, chinchillas are often adopted as pets, which usually ends rather poorly for the chinchilla. While they are nice to look at, chinchillas are wild animals that need very specific and careful care that most children and busy parents just can’t handle. So what happens to those chinchillas that just don’t “work out?”
In the rather frightening case of Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch in Vista, California, the chinchillas were killed and sold for their fur. Adams Valley View was an active breeding facility that sold chinchilla’s into the pet trade. However, when an owner would return the chinchilla because they no longer wanted to keep them, the poor abandoned animals would be killed for their fur.
Luckily, PETA learned about this and stepped in with the help of Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons. PETA held a drive to close the facility, and Sam Simon willingly stepped up to donate the needed sum of $50,000 to purchase the farm from its owner, 90-year old Lurlie Adams.
Adams had been trying to sell the farm for three years. In addition to agreeing to sell the farm to Simon and PETA, Adams signed a contract stating that the ranch would never again be used to rear animals.
The Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch was running as an active breeding facility selling chinchillas as pets. When a chinchilla was returned because the owner no longer wanted them, the animal would be electrocuted and skinned for fur.
425 Chinchillas were residing on the Ranch, all kept in small wire cages.
Adams admitted to PETA that she never sought out medical attention for the chinchillas, but would perform amputations herself with “wire snips” and “six drops of Brandy”
According to a press release from PETA, the methods used to execute the chinchillas has been deemed “unacceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Simon, an avid animal lover, was more than happy to donate the sum needed to save the lives of these 425 little chinchillas. He also donated to ensure PETA could care for them after the rescue.
Simon told Reuters that saving animals is “an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life.”
Walking through the many rows of cages, Simon told the chinchillas that this would be their “last day of abuse,” and “first day of freedom.”
The chinchillas have been taken to the Oceanside and San Diego humane society branches where they will be prepped for adoption.
To watch the incredibly rescue in its entirety, check out the video below:
All image source: PETA