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Posted By Lois

While many of us were thinking about family and Christmas in December 2009, PETA along with many animal rescue groups were getting ready to go process the largest ever rescue and seizure of exotic animals in USA history.  The place was Arlington, Texas.  The name was Global Exotic. Owned by Jensen and Vanessa Shaw from New Zealand. 

 A total of 3 employees were responsible for caring for all of the animals and reptiles at Global Exotic.  One of these three was an undercover PETA member who was instrumental in providing the legal authorities with photographs, videotapes and testimony.  His efforts to document the lack of supplies and horrible living conditions at the Global Exotics site weighed heavily on the authorities to take action.

 

Susan A. Brown, DVM worked for months before this seizure to help coordinate the many rescue groups and SPCA's with PETA to help organize different groups and specialists who actively became involved on site and off site to coordinate their efforts once the judge came to a decision.  It became the largest rescue ever in the history of PETA of animal and reptiles.

 

An overwhelming number of animals and reptiles were involved in this seizure.  Approximately 27.000 animals and reptiles total were surviving under critical conditions.  As you can guess this was no small undertaking from the get go. It took 6 vets and many volunteers 12 hours to inventory and examine all these creatures to be documented as the living and the dead at Global Exotics.  Some 4 thousand animals were either found dead or in need of help to cross over. Global Exotics used freezers to help speed the sick and dying to cross.  An all-volunteer crew was handling some 500 species of animals in total. Many animals were cannibalizing each other just to survive.   This included numerous species that are herbivores. Bowls were found with contaminated food and many filled with mold, feces and urine.  Many suffered from infected wounds, dehydration, malnutrition, and were traumatized. It wasn’t unusual to have 500 assorted animals tossed in a dumpster a day. Some animals would be held in shipping crates anywhere from 48 hours to 2 weeks before being unpacked or shipped.  Sundays the business was closed and everything was at a stand still.  Global Exotics workers used half a day packing and or unpacking animals, then feeding and watering the half of day. (At least that’s what they said they did)  On seizure day December 15, 2009 just to name a few of the animals found: 3 Sloth’s, Ringtail lemurs, Kuwaiti Munds, small frogs kept in 2 liter bottles, 4,000 turtles for the food trade, 550 hedgehogs of which sixty were pregnant and gave birth after the raid in safe clean surroundings. There were 38 prairie dogs as well as some Wallabies, which were shipped out two-in-a crate.  Volunteers talked of how on the morning of the third day after the seizure they came in to the rescue building to find silence and calm.  Each day before this they were greeted by the constant screaming of all the animals rescued.  `We were told that the Shaws at one of their hearings tried to avoid jail time by turning the animals over to zoos. I am glad to say that, that didn't happen.

 
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