Fresno Humane Animal Services is caring for more than 900 small animals from a truck trailer seized Friday in Fresno, a menagerie consisting of rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, parakeets, ducks and three little pigs.
There were 955 animals found in a truck trailer near Belmont and Hughes avenues, west of Highway 99. The truck’s interior temperature was 107 degrees. Initially, 18 animals died, and another 10 died since being rescued.
Animal service officers received a call, “a complaint about something dead,” said Brenda Mitchell, president of Fresno Humane Animal Services, Fresno County’s animal welfare service provider.
“We lost a few that were young and fragile,” she said.
Inside an air conditioned metal building on Monday, kiddie pools are filled with ducklings, rabbits and guinea pigs. There are cages lining the wall and across floor with roosters, chickens, pigeons, doves and exotic birds, cockatiels and parakeets.
Humane officers know the suspect, Mitchell said.
Sales of these animals is not unusual at swap meets and flea markets and though Mitchell doesn’t know the reason the animals were in the trailer, she suspects they were being prepared for sale at a local weekend event.
The reason these animals are in this situation is because people will buy them.
Brenda Mitchell, Fresno Humane Animal Services president
While the number of animals seems unusual, she said, it’s likely nearly all would have been sold over the weekend.
“The reason these animals are in this situation is because people will buy them,” she said. “It’s not legal to buy or sell them” at a swap meet.
The animals are normally bought in large quantities, Mitchell said.
Eventually, the animals will be put up for adoption, she said. It would happen sooner if the owner of the trailer signs the animals over to the county adoption agency.
“When the animals are available for adoption, we will let people know,” she said.
Fresno Humane Animal Services needs donations of food or money to help care for the animals.
The agency has spent $2,500 so far to rescue and care for them.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what they will need,” Mitchell said.
Those interested can drop off donations during business hours at the shelter, 760 W. Nielsen Ave., or donate through Facebook or the Fresno Humane Animal Services website or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.