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Authorities Are on the Scene at PETCO and PetSmart Supplier

Written by PETA | April 22, 2010

It’s déjà vu all over again, and it’ll probably have you wondering: What is PETCO thinking? Other than, “Hey, we can make some money!”

A PETA undercover investigator worked for more than three months at Sun Pet Ltd., an animal dealer in Atlanta that sells hamsters, mice, gerbils, birds, fish, and other small animals directly to PetSmart, PETCO, Pet Supplies “Plus,” Petland, and Walmart. He documented that animals were cruelly killed, abusively handled, and kept in severely crowded, filthy conditions. Surprised?

PETA’s investigator witnessed numerous abuses. A worker put hamsters in a plastic bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them. He also reported that many sick and injured animals died after PETCO and PetSmart stores returned them like damaged goods to Sun Pet without enclosing any food or water for the long journey, instead of providing them with veterinary care or ending their suffering.

PETA turned over the investigator’s findings to law-enforcement authorities. This morning, officials descended on Sun Pet’s massive warehouse.

Sun Pet sells hundreds of thousands of animals annually, just like U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the exotic-animal dealer that PETA investigated late last year. That investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 26,000 animals, the largest animal seizure in history. (Perhaps also not surprisingly, Sun Pet has ties to USGE. Before that hellhole was raided and shut down, Sun Pet purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores, among others!)

This is PETA’s fourth exposé revealing the abusive and filthy conditions endured by animals who are eventually sold at PETCO stores and our third exposé revealing conditions for animals who are eventually sold at PetSmart stores. Please tell PetSmart and PETCO in no uncertain terms to stop selling animals in their stores.

PETA investigations amply demonstrate that appalling neglect and abuse is just business as usual for companies that buy and sell living beings, so please tell your coworkers, friends, and everyone you know not to shop in their stores.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Robyn says:

    Guys i don’t believe that PETA’s a corperation because products of it’s own! greed that I seen so far! And 3. No cover at least I hope and believe!

  • ashleigh says:

    Petco is disgusting, I have the misfortune of working at one (out of desperate need of the only job I could find in the horrible job market in this town). It seems nice superficially and they make sure the animals in this particular store are cared for, almost enough to make you forget… and then instances happen such as a manager thinking it was a good idea to euthanize a dying baby lizard by putting it in the freezer and you remember that this is the pet trade and the pet trade is a skeezy, disgusting disgrace. One that I cannot wait to divorce myself from the moment I move to a place with a better job market.

  • petcotruth says:

    petco is a horrable place for animals i worked there the living conditions suck animals are abused and worse i was sexuall harassed nothing was to to him because he was in a sexual realtionship with the distric manager stephen durr i was fired defending myself from a monster and i was fired… damon baruman is a monster and sexual predator along with most of themanage ment who use the new hires as sexual prey this company needs to be brought’s will be revealed and its sad for a grown man to be afraid to work with other peopel but being touched and sexual abused and then thrown away like trash.

    • Veronica says:

      Hey I worked at Petco too, actually had Stephen Durr as well, he appeared to be nice but when I told my manager I was stepping down from being the Aquatic specialist, she made a big deal out of it and starting spreading lies. There were instances in which she had said she would shoot everyone in the store yet no one did anything, she smacked me and everyone around and HR did nothing but cover her… I got to see how bad they are with animals too, there was a bearded dragon who was almost blind and it wouldn’t get better, well guess what, I took him home and miraculously got better within less than a week. The snakes are starving all the time because they don’t feed them right, the fish died because of the CADM’s neglect… and that’s nothing, the store manager doesn’t care as long as everything looks clean even if it’s not… I hated it there.

  • Fexin says:

    Now pet supermarket another national chain uses sun pet

  • Ellen says:

    I took home a baby teddy bear hamster from Petco. It was pretty lively. The next morning I noticed that it may have wet tail. I called Petco, they said bring it in and they’ll treat it. Make sure to bring your receipt. Well, I did and the manager was quick to refund me. The hamster was still trying to scratch its way out. She said they’ll treat it, and it may take up to 7 days if it recovers. My gut instinct said I wasn’t seeing this hamster again. The next day, Petco calls my home, but doesn’t leave a message. I call the following day – and they tell me the hamster died. Sorry that no one called me or left a message. SORRY???? Are you kidding. Now I wish I had taken that poor baby hamster to the vet myself. I don’t think Petco even treated it. No consolation. nothing.

  • Theseus says:

    Where should people buy pets? Cause obviously petco and petsmart are out.

  • Kristine Santana says:

    After seeing this i will NEVER shop at Petco nor Petsmart

  • Alia Smith says:

    What the…. Animals shouldn’t be treated like this! Petco, PetSmart, you guys are maniacs!

  • Stephanie says:

    I just took the time to write a letter to stop this disgusting behavior. I LOVE ANIMALS AND HEARING THIS HAS PUT ME IN A DEPRESSION. where CAN you buy small animals that are treated PROPERLY ? please let me know.

  • Susanne says:

    Stop this inhuman business now!

  • Bibi says:

    Human is cruel animal are lovely.

  • Cheryl says:

    I am sending this to Petco right now!

  • Sara says:

    This makes me cry to think that these adorable wonderful animals are treated this way. After I read this I gave my hamster Max a treat and told him I love him…I can’t imagine anyone treating any animal this way. On the animal rescue site… you can sign a petition online asking for Georgia law officials to take more action and shut this awful place down. It is called “Tell Sun Pet Ltd. No more Hamster Killing!” Take action!”They need quite a few signatures before they can present this petition.

  • Risa Sams says:

    I bought a baby guinea pig from Petco. I chose the one I did because he was obviously under aged and the other GP’s were bitting him and picking on him. Unfortunately he gave my other GP a very bad eye and intestinal infection. My vet said to contact Petco. They were very hasty to settle the 1st go round of vet bills. My poor pet has now been very ill for 11 months and in horrible pain and suffered through many rounds of various medications all becaus this pet from Petco should not have been sold he was ill and under aged.I took him to a rescue shelter and they found him a good home. My vet bill is now at $4000. The measly amont Petco paid was right at $240. Spread the word do not do ANY business with these cruel places!!!!!!

  • Jaslene says:

    I bought my pet rat from Petsmart and i will never buy anything from there store’s again.. It make me sick and the worst thing about it is that they don’t 2 s about these poor little animals. No animal deserve to be treated like that. They have feelings just like me and you.

  • Jameson says:

    I work for Petsmart and although I don’t like that we get animals from mass breeders in our defense we DO NOT send back any animals we recieve that are sick.. We treat them and adopt them out. All animals get veterinary care and are well taken care of… Maybe our store is different from others but our procedures are to treat and care for the animals as if they are our own…

  • Tracy says:

    I agree “these treatments should be done to the people that are doing it to the animals TOTALLY unacceptable” these are obviously very sick people to do these sorts of things! Sun pet is the next to go down!!

  • Sierra Stockton says:

    I will boycott Petsmart there are plenty of better stores. I used to shop at Petsmart because the convenient location I will no longer due to this disturbing information about the living conditions that the animals are living in. Do something to stop this.

  • cam says:

    omg!!!!! made me cry… so sad how could these people … so SOO cruel… i hate them ..

  • Butterflies says:

    i bought my hamster Lily form petco! she was beautiful and i had to have her! to think that once she was treated this way. when i watch animal planet and see shows that show abused animals i cry! this is just as bad! animals should be treated with more respect. and saying things like “oh my god its just an animal” makes me want to kick them. screw these people. my heart gets wretched when i see people treating them this way! this is so wrong and this cannot continue. the way they were handling them! throwing them in filthy crowded tubs only to be barried alive or suffecated or smothered to death! this needs to chage! and im going to fight until it is! sitting and screaming is not going to change a thing!

  • Skip says:

    Who could be so sick as to do such a cruel wrong thing. I shop at a small little pet shop were all the animals have food water and clean cages and they dont sell puppies or kittens. i use to shop at PETCO now they just lost me as a coustomer. I have 5 hamsters myself who are precious little things.

  • Kathleen says:

    I am in tears thinking these inhumane animals could treat these helpless little beings in such a hoprrific way. Those guilty should suffer the exact same wayfilthy excuse for humans.

  • Kelly.C. says:

    I seriously felt like crying while watching that. How can ANYONE treat animals like that? They wouldn’t like it if someone came along and shoved them into a box as if they weren’t important!!!! It’s evil all aniamls are living creatures should be treated with respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LadyLillian55 says:

    There must be something more that can be done about this satanic behavior that these people exhibit. My heart is so sick at the acceptance of animal abuse. I’m over the line hurt and angry. Way to awful. OMG!

  • pd52 says:

    listen i see a lot of people blaming petsmart and petco for the condition of these animals but not a lot of people blaming the consumer. petco and petsmart arent in and of themselves evil theyre just indifferent. they go where the money’s at. if people were to stop BUYING ANIMALS as though they were a loaf of bread or a pair of shoes there wouldnt be a problem. ive worked for both of them and the animals in the stores were fairly well cared for if suffering from “overstocking”. i got a lot of complaints about NOT having animals available which were passed on and dealt with but NOT A SINGLE COMPLAINT about the fact that animals were being sold. thats in three years. so please put a few calls in to corporate. its not always the employees faults. its usually yours. ps i ALWAYS kept track of what animals were available in local shelters and stressed getting those instead. lots of people dont know you can get hamsters and such from rescues just like dogs and cats. tell everyone!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I really think that in United States the law about sell animals or have animals for adoption on pet stores need to change. In Germany the pet store cannot sell animals and if you own an animal and you want to sell the puppies you need to have a licence for that. No everybody can sell an animal here.

  • lindsie says:

    thats wrong. who the hell would not have a heart for these pro animals.

  • Concerned but thinking logically says:

    This is truly horrible no animal should suffer this fate. But lets be real about this. This is ONE branch of the petsmart petco chain and ONE outfitter. NOT the entire company. Overall they are not bad companies and infact they have helped more animals find loving homes than most shelters. This particular store and warehouse SHOULD be investigated shut down and the people involved SHOULD be prosecuted but we honestly can’t condemn the WHOLE company for one bad branch. I personally prefer to rescue my animals from a nokill shelter but I buy my food and toys from petsmart because they have the highest quality in my area. Because of this ONE incident at ONE chain should I deprive my beloved animals from food and toys? I don’t think so. It’s pretty simple. Condeming a whole corporation for ONE bad egg is just not logical. Instead of screaming about it here expressing OUTRAGE! Have the authorities been contacted? Has this ‘undercover agent’ brought his evidence to the people who can prosecute the miserable excuses for humans who committed these acts? This won’t help stop the problem if we just sit and scream. DO something about it.

  • Glenn&Debbie says:

    We urge PetSmart and Petco to only hold adoption events on behalf of shelters and rescues.

  • Alexis says:

    What comes around goes around!!!!

  • IC says:

    I don’t shop at these places. It’s scary to think how many people are out there who think nothing about inflicting pain on an innocent animal. These are the same people who are cruel to their fellow human beings as well. The lack of empathy is frightening and sickening. I think anyone that is going to be allowed to work around animals should be screened somehow. There’s no excuse for this kind of cruelty! A few select questions could weed out the idiots. The employers don’t really care though. It’s all about the money! It makes me sick!