A pet store breeder busted with thousands of rats and reptiles kept in disturbing conditions has been fined a whopping $190,000, along with five years' probation and 200 hours of community service. Of the fine, $88,000 will go to to PETA, which conducted an undercover sting that revealed the conditions, and helped clean up the mess.
According to the LA Times:
Mitchell Steven Behm, 55, of Coto de Caza, pleaded guilty this month to a dozen misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty while he owned Global Captive Breeders. There, in December 2012, investigators discovered more than 18,000 rats, bred as food, and several hundred emaciated and decomposing snakes.
The sentence is the culmination of a 2012 raid following an undercover expose by a member of PETA. Video footage of the facility showed dead animals decomposing, rats nearly drowning and an employee killing rats by slamming them on hard surfaces.
No punishment could compare to the daily horror that thousands of rodents and reptiles endured," said PETA spokesman Dan Paden. "but this sentence is an important step."