Chinchillas Rescued from Electrocution Thanks to Sam Simon’s Compassion

You might know Sam Simon best as the co-creator of “The Simpsons.” To 420 chinchillas being held in horrible conditions at a California breeding facility, though, he’s a hero. He just used his money and influence to save them from electrocution.

Simon, a longtime animal activist, partnered with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to provide the necessary funding to buy out the entire operation at the Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch in Vista, Ca.

The facility’s elderly owner, Lurlie Adams, had been trying to sell the farm for three years. Recently, she indicated she’d have to kill all 420 chinchillas at the facility and sell their pelts if she couldn’t get rid of them otherwise. That’s when PETA and Sam Simon jumped into action.

Adams was reportedly happy to take $50,000 for all the chinchillas — an amount that Simon provided to PETA to close the deal. Adams didn’t know PETA was behind this sale until the contract was signed.

One Little Advertisement Means a Fur Farm is Born

Adams and her husband began breeding chinchillas in 1966, when they saw an advertisement promising they could make millions raising the little furry critters. Over time, their ranch became one of the biggest chinchilla operations in California. Unfortunately, while the ranch presented itself as a pet breeder to the outside world, the reality was much darker.

Caged chinchilla at fur farm

Caged for life, all alone. Photo credit: PETA

Adams said the chinchillas which didn’t “work out” as pets were slaughtered and skinned for their pelts. The poor creatures were killed by means of “toe-to-ear” electrocution, which PETA says “immobilizes animals but leaves them fully conscious as they experience all the pain of a full-blown heart attack.” According to PETA, the American Veterinary Medical Association calls this method of euthanasia “unacceptable.”

While alive, the chinchillas lived in rows of tiny cages, isolated from one another. They got no real veterinary care. In fact, Adams told PETA she splinted little broken legs herself. She even performed limb amputations using wire snips and a few drops of brandy. Truly, these chinchillas lived and died in hell.

Watch PETA’s video of this incredible rescue here (warning, there’s some “before rescue” undercover footage that includes a demonstration of the electrocution process):

A Hero in a Time of Personal Crisis

Diagnosed in 2012 with metastasized colorectal cancer, Simon has since been aggressively spending his many millions on animal causes and feeding hungry families. As Care2 reported back in July 2013, Simon has been doing amazing things — buying up roadside zoos and circuses to free the animals, making major endowments to animal rights organizations, providing heathy vegan meals for needy families, and much more.

Since we shared that story, Simon has furthered his good work for animals. In January 2014, he funded the rescue and transport to sanctuary of 17 captive bears living in dank concrete pits at the Black Forest Bear Park in Helen, Ga. He was also the financial force behind the highly anticipated June 2014 rescue of Sunder, an elephant who’d been living for many years in a temple in India, shackled, beaten daily and starving.

“I have a desire to help animals,” Simon told Reuters. ”The question of whether it makes financial sense, it’s my money and I get to do what I want with it. It’s an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life.”

This Chinchilla Farm Will Never Open its Doors Again

Simon was present for the PETA rescue operation at the Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch, despite his fragile health. Reuters reports that he walked through the rows of tiny steel cages, telling the captive chinchillas, “This is your last day of abuse. This is your first day of freedom.”

sam simon views cages

Sam Simon tours chinchilla farm. Photo credit: PETA

Part of this deal includes a provision in the sale contract that the Adams property may never again be used to raise animals. In addition to the $50,000 for the purchase of the chinchillas, Simon also gave $100,000 to the San Diego Humane Society for their care while they await adoption as pets.

Sam Simon is still kicking butt on behalf of the animals, months past the date doctors gave him to live. May he live as long and as comfortably as possible. He’s a true hero for all animals who are suffering or in need. We salute you, Sam, and we thank you.

Photo credit (main image): Thinkstock


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

Sam Simon, you are a true hero to these animals!! Bless you!!

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton4 years ago

What a wonderful person.

Susan T.
Susan T4 years ago

Glad these little critters are free from their hell.

Pat P.
Pat P4 years ago

Chinchillas have to be one of the cutest, sweetest, friendliest and softest animals on earth! I agree with Angela P.

Thanks to wonderful animal activists, such as Sam Simon and PETA.

Fur farming is one of the cruelest operations in existence--some much worse than others, but, nonetheless, all are barbaric. Their suffering can be so horrible, that many animals become deranged. It is ungodly inhumane! I have had nightmares after seeing videos and pictures of different animals in fur farms. I did not intend to view all I saw, but was overwhelmed with disgust and sorrow---in the U.S. (Wisconsin and Utah, alone, average 70 each) and China, mainly, although there are many others, worldwide. Fortunately, some countries have banned them, totally, whereas, others have strict regulations. The U.S. has no federal protections, at all. China, where the majority of farms exist, of course, has none.

There are various petitions on-line to ban fur farming. Although a few are old, please sign whatever you can! Sorry about no links, but you can google them.

JOHN P. Could you be more ignorant?!

SHELLY B. I Think you are the one lying, not PETA. That's B.S. Animals at fur farms are not well taken care of! It's a monstrous business!

Louise Perreault
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks to Sam Simon for helping mistreated and defenseless animals.

Stella Gambardella
Stella G4 years ago

Un uomo ammirevole. Grazie Simone, per aiutare tanti animali innocenti.

Jacqueline GLYDE4 years ago

WHAT? $50,000?

Lori E.
Lori E4 years ago

He is a great man! If I had money like that I'd do the same thing :)

Angev GERIDONI4 years ago

Pétropolis : now you can help the sanctuary that is home to farm animals, victims of exploitation, of abuse, and all kinds of cruelty. Some comes from Pétropolis some from other places around this city. Today there are 150 lucky animals, please give, for keeping them and to rescue other ones : ♥ Fairy sanctuary - or - ♥ Doe

Thank you for sharing