PETA, whose motto includes “animals are not ours to wear,” has closed one of the largest chinchilla fur farms in California: Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch in Vista, which described itself as a breeder of “pets” — despite electrocuting, skinning, and then selling the pelts of chinchillas who didn’t sell or “work out” as companions.

Sam Simon inspects dozens of chinchillas awaiting transport to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
Sam Simon inspects dozens of chinchillas awaiting transport to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

PETA is happy to have saved these fascinating animals from being painfully electrocuted and to have made sure that no coats or blankets would be made from their bodies,” says Sam Simon, a PETA patron who paid for the rescue of the animals. “PETA encourages everyone to do their part to help animals like these little individuals by never buying or wearing any animal skins.”

PETA’s purchase of the fur farm stock includes the electrocution device and the pelting drum used to stretch the chinchilla skins.

PETA documented admissions of cruel practices conducted at the farm, as revealed in video footage that’s now available at

Valley View used a toe-to-ear electrocution slaughtering method, deemed “unacceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as it makes the animals go rigid but doesn’t stop brain activity, leaving them to experience all the pain of a full-blown heart attack.

The owners admitted that they had never provided chinchillas with veterinary care and that they strapped the animals to a table in order to amputate their limbs — using “wire snips” and “six drops of brandy” in lieu of anesthetics. “I usually have so many animals that if I lose one, it’s not a catastrophe,” one owner said.

Chinchillas are social animals who live in herds of up to 100 and enjoy burrowing and climbing. At Valley View, they were locked in metal cages — often, in solitary confinement — with little or no enrichment.

The more than 400 rescued chinchillas are now at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where they will soon be available for adoption in groups of two to four.

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