Three men face felony animal cruelty charges after a raid at a South Florida business that sold live animals.
About 75 animals were taken into custody after Friday's raid at VIP Animal Sales in south Miami-Dade County.
The business legally sold fowl and pigeons from roadside pens. But according to arrest warrants, at the rear of the nearly 5-acre property, the men inhumanely slaughtered animals for meat in filthy conditions.
Miami-Dade authorities raided the property after an eight-month undercover investigation by Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission. According to affidavits, the also men offered fighting roosters for sale.
"The rabbits are stabbed to death, beaten with bats. They are at times skinned, possibly skinned alive," said Richard Couto with Animal Recovery Mission.
“The cruel dispatching of these animals at an illegal slaughterhouse is exactly what the Florida Legislature wanted to end when it created the animal cruelty statute,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Such unnecessary brutality demeans not just the people who do it, but those who would stand by and let it happen."