Petition Calls for Closure of Petaluma Wildlife Museum After Rats Abused

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An online petition is calling for California Gov. Jerry Brown to close the Petaluma Wildlife Museum after students were caught abusing rats at the center. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    An online petition is calling for California Gov. Jerry Brown to close the Petaluma Wildlife Museum after students were caught abusing rats at the center.

    A student at Petaluma High School videotaped classmates killing the rats in a brutal way.

    "She took the video several years ago, I'm surprised nobody has come forward sooner or with more information," said Mark Scott of the Petaluma Animal Shelter.

    Scott began investigating the incident in January.

    The petition, which has more than a thousand signatures, has placed the museum in the national spotlight. Former students who took classes at the museum also are now speaking out.

    Kelly Peterson, a former student, said she saw classmates abusing rats back when she was in high school.

    Peterson is upset over the incident, but said it would be unfair to close the center because of the actions of a few students.

    "I don't think it's fair to put it on the center when these students are being punished," she said.

    Scott said he has ordered the museum to comply with guidelines to euthanize rats properly. The center was given 120 days to comply.