Virtually barren steel cages, isolation, lack of veterinary care, and painful medical procedures, including limb amputations performed without pain relief, were the reality for hundreds of chinchillas at Valley View Chinchilla Ranch. In 2014, a PETA investigator visited Valley View Chinchilla Ranch, a California-based breeding facility and fur farm. The facility masqueraded as a breeder of “pets,” despite slaughtering, skinning, and selling the pelts of any chinchillas who supposedly did not “work out” as companions.
Viewed as commodities, the chinchillas were denied veterinary care, even for emergencies. The owner admitted to amputating limbs with “wire snips,”splinting broken bones, and using “six drops of brandy” as an anesthetic. She also admitted that it didn’t matter to her if chinchillas died, stating, “I usually have so many animals that if I lose one, it’s not a catastrophe.” She planned to slaughter and skin all the remaining chinchillas for their fur if the business didn’t sell.
Without PETA’s intervention, these chinchillas could have faced slaughter via a cruel method of electrocution that leaves animals fully conscious as they experience all the pain of a heart attack. As if these conditions weren’t horrifying enough, the owner planned to slaughter and skin all the remaining chinchillas for their fur if the business didn’t sell. As on many fur farms, a crude, archaic slaughtering method known as “toe-to-ear” electrocution was being used. Toe-to-ear electrocution immobilizes animals but leaves them fully conscious as they experience all the pain of a full-blown heart attack.
RESCUEDWith funding from Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, PETA was able to close down this facility—previously one of the largest chinchilla breeding and fur farms in California—for good. In addition to the more than 400 chinchillas, PETA removed an archaic electrocution device, pelting equipment, and hundreds of tiny steel cages, ensuring that this factory farm will never again breed, sell, or slaughter chinchillas for their fur.
The rescued chinchillas have been transported to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where they will finally have the opportunity to experience companionship and be given veterinary care, proper shelter, and room to run, climb, play, and burrow. The animals will be available for adoption soon.