SANTA CRUZ - A USDA spokesman said Wednesday an investigation into findings of noncompliance at Santa Cruz Biotechnology in 2011 is continuing.

The agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service launched an investigation into the company after inspections at the facility twice in 2010 found a dozen sick or injured goats in pain, according to David Sacks. These types of investigations can result in penalties that range from a warning letter to a fine of $10,000 per violation.

Tuesday, an Ohio-based animal research watchdog group reported that the USDA also found noncompliance at Santa Cruz Biotech in the areas of veterinary care during two inspections conducted earlier this year. Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said that the fact that the company only has one veterinarian on staff to take care of thousands of animals is "unfathomable."

Inspections in March and April by the USDA found that the company's sole staff veterinarian was tasked with caring for 10,000 goats, 6,000 rabbits and an undetermined number of horses and cattle. Findings of the April inspection included a goat with an untreated broken leg and another with a serious, untreated skin condition that eventually led to the animal's euthanization, according to USDA reports.

Two of the findings from April 19 are classified as "direct, noncompliant," which means the agency will automatically reinspect within 45 days. A third finding was recorded as "repeat and noncompliant," which means another inspection will take place within 90 days.

Representatives for Santa Cruz Biotechnology could not immediately be reached for comment.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter @jmpasko96