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Board of Inquiry® This forum is provided exclusively for the discussion of specific persons or businesses in the herp industry. On 02-02-2020 the BOI will be deleted.

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
RodentPro- Zoonotic disease warning

For several years our facility (Kentucky Reptile Zoo) purchased rodents from RodentPro. While less than completely pleased with their customer service from time to time, we did not have any major problems.

In May, three things occurred:
1. We were informed they would no longer be providing live mice after the May delivery (we met them in Louisville, about a 2 hr drive for us, so we could get live things.)
2. They did not have several hundred rats that we needed.
3. I attempted to purchase quail. I was told they were increasing their quail colony and did were not selling any. I asked if there was any way I could get 2-5 extra males, as I had one snake that would not eat anything other than quail and he was already thin. Casey flat out refused to provide even 1 quail. I was quite irritated at this - how could there not be any extra males, surely they could help out a long term customer who spends several thousand dollars per month with them??? But no, no quail for this one snake.

Due to these three things, we decided to look for rodents elsewhere.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I received a call from the epidemiologist for our county, who informed me of the following:
1. The CDC was looking for people who had purchased rodents from Rodent Pro, particularly in May of this year.
2. Rodent Pro rodents were found to be diseased with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, which is a zoonotic disease with potentially serious consequences, especially to those who are immune suppressed and pregnant women. You can google this disease and see the CDC information about it.
3. They wanted to visit us today to see our purchase records from Rodent Pro.

They did visit us today and talked to us about the situation. We are not sure if we received diseased rodents or not. We provided them with our purchase records and are supposed to be told if there is a problem within a day or so.

I am not aware of any of our employees having any health issues in relation to this situation. However, I do not yet know if we will need to discard any live rodents that we have and also discard any remaining frozen rodents.

I have been informed that frozen rodents pose a very small risk. However, this risk is not zero. If you purchased frozen or especially live rodents from rodentpro this spring or summer, you might want to contact your health department and find out if you should be concerned.

Especially since Rodent Pro made completely zero effort to contact us about the problem. Below is the letter I am mailing to them today.

I will update as I find out more info.

Here is the letter:

"July 31, 2012

Kevin Bryant
PO Box 118
Inglefield, IN 47618

Dear Kevin,

Yesterday we were contacted by our local epidemiologist, who visited us today in regards to rodents from your facility carrying lymphocytic choriomeningitis. I do not yet know if any rodents we received from you were carrying this disease, but they have taken copies of our invoices from you and are supposed to contact us soon to let us know.

I’m sure that this situation is not news to you. I am writing to express my extreme disappointment and displeasure that you made absolutely zero effort to contact us to inform us of this situation. As I have learned in the past 24 hours, this disease is zoonotic and can cause serious illness, especially to those who are immune suppressed and to pregnant women. Even though the risk is low to healthy adults, I now find myself in the position of having to back track and attempt to figure out if anyone was exposed. It is absolutely unconscionable that you would allow any of your customers to continue to use and work around these animals without providing some sort of warning to them. I can not imagine what absolute lack of ethics and morals you must possess to be so lax in your professional responsibility to your customers.

If we did receive any of the diseased animals, we are going to have to euthanize and discard our entire live rodent colony, as well as discard any remaining frozen rodents that we received from you. I estimate this loss will be roughly $1000, which we can ill afford but it is better than continuing to put ourselves and our employees at risk. The monetary loss is aggravating but pales in comparison to the betrayal I feel at how you handled this situation.
Rest assured that you will never do business with us again. I tolerated the moderate quality of customer service for several years because we could get live rodents from you, but I will not do business with anyone who has proven themselves to be so utterly devoid of basic human decency.

In addition, I will be posting a copy of this letter to the Board of Inquiry on I will do this because there are probably large numbers of people who purchased rodents from you at shows. I have been told the risk of transmission from frozen rodents is very low. However, very low is not zero and these people deserve to be informed that the risk exists. Since it is clear you do not feel it is necessary to inform your customers of this risk, I will do it for you. I find that my personal morals will not be satisfied until these people are notified in some way.

Please realize that while I would have been concerned and disappointed in this situation regardless, I would have been much more understanding if you had made any effort at all to notify us of the problem when it occurred, which to my understanding was in May of 2012. I am not sure when you found out about the problem, but I know that you knew prior to today, when I am finding out about it. Large colonies of animals are by nature susceptible to disease outbreaks and this disease is present in the wild rodent population. However, dealing with such an outbreak responsibly and professionally would have gone a very long way towards preventing any potential problems that may now arise.

Kristen Wiley, Curator
Kentucky Reptile Zoo"
Old 07-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
I live in Evansville, IN and have been purchasing rodents from them for the past two years. Apparently this outbreak happened a month ago and I just found out about this yesterday. To say the least, I am not a happy customer. They should have called or emailed all of their customers that had bought from them in the last couple of months and told them what happened or at least post something about it on their website. They raised there prices by 25% within the last month and now I know why.

I will now have to find another frozen mouse/rat supplier as I will never buy from Rodent Pro again. This puts me in a pretty bad spot and I'm sure I won't get a refund for the rodents that I just bought. I've never had a problem with Rodent Pro until now but the way they are handling this situation is all wrong and I won't support a business that doesn't care about the health of their customers and their customers animals.
Old 07-31-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
Thank you. I will now check my records to see when I ordered rats.
Old 07-31-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
Wow. I ordered from them before the breakout - LONG before it, thankfully, and I just donated all of those rats to a local rescue. I sold my snakes so I didn't need them anymore. They were all frozen though...

How crazy. If I still had my snakes I'd never buy from them again!
Old 07-31-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
This is horrible. My last frozen rodent order was march 5th. I hope I wont have to throw out 200 plus rodents.
Old 07-31-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
I realized that some people may have their frozen rodents in the freezer with the human food. We don't do this here, but you might reconsider doing this if you have your snake food and your people food together. I was informed by our health department that the risk of transmission from frozen rodents is much less than from live. I wish I had more info, but I sort of think that we may not know what the risk is from frozen, since this sort of thing may not have happened before.

The epidemiologist that I've been speaking to told me that she will talk to the CDC about people who may have purchased from shows. I think she may even post here- I told her that I had and gave her the website.
Old 07-31-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
If anyone talks to anyone knowledgeable about this disease, please ask about the freezing of this virus (if it can live thru a freeze).
Old 07-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
How or does this affect our snakes?
Old 07-31-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
From the above posted letter it sounds like this is only something that can affect humans and not the reptiles that we have been feeding the rodents to. im not saying for positive that this is the case im just going off of what has already been posted in regards to this disease.

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