At the end of June, a truck carrying close to a thousand animals of all species was seized in Fresno, California, while it was parked in direct sunlight.
The authorities were alerted by passersby and neighbors, who were disturbed by the strong odor of excrement and decomposition coming out of it. Brenda Mitchell, board president of the Fresno Humane Animal Services (FHAS) explained to The Dodo :
We responded to a complaint about the smell of 'something dead.' The back of it was filled — and I mean from front to back — with these small bird cages.
Inside the cages, the horrified volunteers found hundreds of animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, ducklings, chickens, various types of birds and three baby pigs, were trapped in what essentially became a furnace, where temperatures were over 104 degrees.
In total, 973 animals were found in the truck, 18 of which had sadly already passed away. Mitchell continued:
Most of the animals we could see had no water. The first thing was get food and water in the survivors, and then we started getting them out of their cages.
All of these animals were supposed to be sold as pets at various flea markets, which is illegal in Fresno. Luckily, the majority of them were in good health, and are getting used to their new life at the shelter:
It was so fun to watch the bunnies run and jump and start to run around with happiness.
For the shelter, taking in the nearly 1,000 new animals was a difficult task. However, some good Samaritans have already come to help:
Food is always needed and we have quite a variety of different types of pets here, so you really can’t go wrong with donating bird food and rabbit food. We actually have someone sending us 250 small bird toys, and we’re really excited because we don’t think these birds have ever had toys before.
While most of the animals will be handed over to adoptive families, the association will be looking to change mentalities about where animals come from. There are plenty of breeders who don't care about the well-being of their animals, and pet shops ignore it.
Tens of thousands of dogs and cats end up in shelters each year, either due to neglect, abuse or abandonment. Consider adopting before you shop, and visit your local shelters before going to a breeder. Every dog and cat deserves a fair chance at a forever home.
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At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!