Skip to Main Content

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.
  • Courtneay says:

    This is disgusting. I live in New Zealand and I would definitley think about moving to America to work for PETA. I believe that animals should be treated just the same as humans. GO PETA you are doing a great job.

  • burke says:

    this is disgrace…does petco know of this? I buy a lot of animal food from petco..NO MORE..ADIOS PETCO

  • elizabeth Reilly says:

    I will never shop at either store again. I have purchased all my pets for both companies and bought a 3rd Guinea Pig from Pet smart because I just got worried about it for some reason. I just couldn’t stop thinking of it. I need a lot of pet supplies but will pay up and go to a local shop who does not sell animals.

  • Marilyn says:

    one way to stop this abuse is to quit buying animals and birds from them.

  • Jeff Wood says:

    Shocking? Yes. Surprised by the actions of some? No. People are bastards. When given the opportunity some will do the most vile things imaginable. WWI WWII dog fighting Lord of the Flies gangs it goes on on on ……

  • Richard says:

    Just give me five minutes in a room with anyone who abuses an animal in any shape or form. They would soon learn believe me!

  • Christina Lynn says:

    OMGGGGG!!!! how can they do this to such poor and innocent animals?!?!? those are some VERY MEAN people who don’t care about living creatures ONE BIT!!

  • Tamara Landon says:

    Thank you for showing me this I had no idea. I go almost weekly to both these stores for my pets needs. I will not step foot in these stores until they change their ways. I emailed both companies saying so. Don’t forget as consumers we have a heavy impact on how they do business especially in this bad economy. Do not be afraid to speak out to them and take your business elsewhere. If we hit them hard in the wallet they will listen. Those poor poor animals.

  • Lauren says:

    So this kinda stuff happens at PETCO AND PETSMART warehouses where they keep the supply of animals? That is horriable. I thought only Petco did this kinda stuff that’s why I never shop there anymore. But what about Petsmart? Is it “ok” to shop there. Please get back to me thanks.

  • Marian says:

    Human beings are sick. I bought my 4 precious budgies from PetSmart as well as food supplies. The last time I was in PetSmart I noticed a sick budgie. I told an employee who said “We will take care of it.” I shudder now to think about what may have happened to that poor budgie. Unknowningly I may have sentenced him to a tortorous death. Anybody who’s had a budgie knows how delightful bursting with personality these little birds are.I will no longer purchase foodsupplies from these places.

  • Erin says:

    Before I knew about Petco’s awfulness I bought two darling hamsters there. I regret giving Petco my money but at least my hamsters have a loving clean home after probably living through a very traumatic and miserable beginning.

  • alyssa says:

    I am upset and seeing this is one of the worst things. How can people cannot no or feel bad about what their doing the sad thing is people hire them to do this nonsense

  • Julie Bunn says:

    Complete and utter disgust. With the help of everyone getting together we can stop this! Petition the sale of animals of Petco and Petsmart!

  • angela knolder says:

    I am utterly disgusted ny this. gogod work PETA in uncovering this.

  • PETA FAN says:


  • B says:

    I am sorry but I have work with animal care for a long time in partner with PETA. ASPCA.. and work with both petsmart and petco. I totally do not believe in abusing animals. but if anyone knows things about hampsters and animals of such if a hampster is taken away from alot of their normal fellow hampsters and then shipped they will get more stressed. and most likely cause wettail. Animals for petco and petsmart at least where i worked were shipped overnight or simple across town. But I do feel for animals who are treated cruel. I dont know why that employee would bash the heads. THAT IS JUST ONE PERSON. They should be immediately fired. I am an animal care specialist and animal nutrition specialist. dog trainer and etc. THIS IS JUST CRAZY

  • alisa says:

    this is disgusting horrible and completely unnescessary. i don’t buy animals from pet stores but when i need to buy food or other pet supplies i will NEVER GO TO THESE PLACES!

  • Wendy Taylor says:

    I shop in both Petco and Petsmart and I am disgusted that they do not demand that their suppliers take better care of the animals that they sell. They all need to take accountability and make sure this abuse and neglect Stops!

  • Dawna says:

    it don’t surprise me my husband HAD a snake he couldn’t bring home live rats to feed the snakebecause my 9 year old loved it too much so my husband said the pet store owner would smash it’s head im scared to ask with what and send my husband home with a freshly killed baby rat. long story short we gave the snake to a nice reptile lover

  • deanna says:

    Yes the treatment at these facilities that the stores get the animals from seem to be unfair and cruel they should be more gentle and provide proper accomodations BUT i do not believe that the retailers are to blame im sure thye arent aware that this is what goes on. Do NOt blame retailers like Petsmart and Petco blame this distributor.

  • gen says:

    whoever is talking about human babies being aborted shut up. the world is overpopulated as it is which is the reason why animals are endangered and treated this way. it’s better if we don’t being unwanted children into this world.

  • Lauren says:

    This footage is disgusting and actually made me emotional watching. some people dont deserve to be here! why treat animals like that??? totally horrible.

  • VeggieOut says:

    petco sucks! how cruel can one company be?! petsmart petco all those big pet warehouse type companies all support animal cruelty and abuse. not to mention most buy bulk food from places like iams eukanuba pedigree science diet ect. all of which torture animals not to mention horrible for your pets. Thankyou PETA for exposing the evil petco company and their continued animal abuse. Lets hope they get closed down for good!

  • Concerned says:

    Helping animals in need is a great cause…but what about all the HUMAN babies that are aborted everyday…it upsets me that this is overlooked everyday.

  • Cindy says:

    this is just crazy it just makes me not like ppl even more.ppl are just horrible.

  • Donna says:

    stop this immedietly i bought a hamster from there and now i know where he came from . . . it is sad how people can be so cruel

  • Patty says:

    Let’s do whatever it takes to SHUT THESE PEOPLE DOWN!! And anyone else like them. This is inexcusable treatment of innocent little creatures. All they want is to be loved.

  • DUKE says:

    This makes me extremely upset to see people treat animals like tihs. Thank god for corporations like PETA. I hope all the people that treat animals w. cruelty die a horrible slow painful death. Fk em all let god sort em out.

  • A.P. says:

    I happen to work at a PetSmart. Been working there for 2 yrs. I have seen and read of all the things that happen when our pets are at the hands of the supplies BUT i can assure you that at our stores or at least MY store we definitely take care of our animals. I actually never turn away animals that seem in bad shape with the hope that being at MY store we can get them the treatment they need. I just recently had to take a few pets from the our last shipment to the vet and I am happy to say that they are all well now. And we are adopting them out instead of selling them… I like to think that the animals we get in have such a better chance of doing well with us instead of with the supplier I feel i am saving their lives by having them at the store.

  • Rivkah honeysgirl says:

    Whatever abuse someone does 2 an animal should b done 2 abuser or a portion of it for an extended amount of time…and animal abuse will come 2 a quick end. Why dont we ever hear of some case of a crazed animal lover doing paybacks to animal abusers like i mentioned above?

  • Adrianna says:

    I’d REALLY like to get my hands on the SOB’s that mistreat animals like this! No reason at all for this. These people should be severely punished! But they’ll get it in the end when they have to answer to God!

  • kathy says:

    I can’t believe this is happening I will not shop at either ever again. I will pay the extra money and shop at a small local store. I will also call and write to these companies stating my concerns for the animals they purchase.

  • Marianna Clark says:

    This is horrible. It breaks my heart to see this How can people do this to animals? They wouldn’t stand for their children or relatives to be confined and treated like this so why is it OK to do this to animals???

  • Monica says:

    I can t believe this. I am never stepping foot in any of those stores again. No one deserves that kind of treatment we need to sabotage those two chains. Great job PETA!!!

  • Janeth says:

    I cannot believe this is allowed! It breaks my heart and will never understand how people can be this cruel… I find this appalling and disturbing. I will never shop at these stores again.



  • jennifer grier says:

    I will NEVER patronize this store again for as long as I live nor will I let my family shop there!

  • heather says:

    absolutely disgusting!!!! this makes me so sick why are people so cruel?!

  • Yekta says:

    unbelievable!!! we buy food and supplies from Petco and Petsmart and this incident is so upsetting that we are not going to spend a dime with these killer and murderers any more.

  • valery minano says:

    i really wish i had some kind of power to stop all these cruelty to animals i am proud to say im convincing my whole family to stop eating meat and alway help any animal in danger soon opur voices will be heard and animals cruelty will be stopped

  • Tracey says:

    Looking at this guy just throwing those micehamsters in the tubs like that was terrible. You would think he was throwing food in there by the way he handled them UNBELIEVABLE!! I am so sick tired of animals whether they be rodents whatever being mistreated. I don’t go to pet stores anymore as it is too depressing and sickning to see the pets especially puppies living in these small glass houses. When is all this going to stop!

  • Jolene Ramsahai says:

    sigh well i will no longer shop at these pl aces anymore. does ANY major company take care of animals properly anymore??? you can’t trust anything anymore. sad.

  • Emma says:

    I didn’t know that Petco and petsmart did this to there animals. I don’t ever buy animals from a pet store. And now I have more reasons not to. Thank you. Emma Phaneuf

  • milena says:

    it’s orrible. human are orrible.

  • Dean Ween says:

    Amazing work PETA starting with your investigator. No one in the animal protection community is so effectively and widely tackling this industry or any other as you all are. In honor of all those suffering at Sun Petand the hamsters and rabbit I bought as a kid from this vile trade and then neglectedI’m redoubling my efforts to let friends and family know that buying anything from PETCO or PetSmart even supplies helps the bottom line of hellholes like this place.

  • madison says:

    that is sooo cruel!!!

  • anon says:

    This breaks my heart. No one humans animals sea creatures reptiles nothing should have to be treated or live like this. Thank you PETA for all that you do. I wish more people could be educated about this early on in life.

  • noreen says:

    these treatments should be done to the people that are doing it to the animals TOTALLY unacceptable

  • Heleene says:

    Cruel Cruel Cruel. That is horrible and should be stopped. It’s not right at all.

  • Lauren K. says:

    Before I knew about the cruel places that supply petsmart and petco I bought two beautiful hamsters from a local petsmart. Their names were Oliver and Spunky They were some of the sweetest and most loving animals I have ever owned and Its devastating to learn that ANYONE would treat such beautiful creatures like this.