Tragic Fate of Transferred Animals Sparks Outrage and Investigations

Hundreds of small animals transferred from California to Arizona for adoption have likely ended up as reptile food, leading to investigations and calls for accountability.

In a shocking turn of events, over 300 small animals that were transferred from the San Diego Humane Society to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to find new homes have tragically ended up as reptile feed. The incident has left animal welfare advocates demanding answers and has prompted investigations by both organizations and local authorities. The heartbreaking discovery has raised questions about the fate of these animals and has led to the termination of a humane society executive and the resignation of another. As the investigation unfolds, the focus is now on seeking justice for these innocent creatures and ensuring that such a tragedy never occurs again.

The Transfer and Mysterious Disappearance

The San Diego Humane Society was facing overcapacity and reached out to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for assistance in finding homes for 323 small animals, including guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, and rabbits. The transfer was completed successfully, with all animals arriving safely in Tucson on August 7th. However, concerns about the animals’ fate arose when employees and animal welfare advocates began questioning their whereabouts.

A Shocking Revelation

A joint statement from the San Diego Humane Society and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona revealed that over 300 animals were transferred to a private company owned by Colten Jones, known as the Fertile Turtle. The company specializes in selling live and frozen animals as reptile feed. A text message obtained by a local television station showed Jones asking a source if they could freeze a large number of guinea pigs and rabbits. The message strongly indicated Jones’ intention to use the animals as feed rather than finding them adoptive homes.

Demands for Accountability and Legal Action

The revelation of the animals’ fate has sparked outrage and demands for accountability from animal welfare advocates. Both organizations involved have vowed to seek definitive answers and pursue legal action. The Tucson Police Department is currently investigating the incident, and the San Diego Humane Society is collaborating with legal advisors to explore civil and criminal proceedings. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has also commissioned an independent investigator to release a report on the matter.

Fallout and Resignations

As a result of the incident, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona fired its chief executive, Steve Farley, and accepted the resignation of its chief operating officer, Christian Gonzalez, who was reportedly responsible for overseeing the animals’ transfer. Farley has denied any involvement in the transfer and expressed his distress over the allegations. The organization has hired a new chief executive in response to the crisis.


The tragic fate of the transferred animals has sent shockwaves through the animal welfare community. The incident highlights the need for stronger protocols and oversight when it comes to animal transfers between organizations. As investigations continue, the focus remains on seeking justice for these innocent creatures and preventing similar tragedies in the future. The joint efforts of the San Diego Humane Society and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, along with the involvement of local authorities, will hopefully shed light on the circumstances surrounding this heartbreaking incident and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.






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