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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.
  • Renee Gardner says:

    This comment is for A.P. who works at a PetSmart store….GOOD FOR YOU for taking those animals to the vet!! It sounds like you went above and beyond to make sure that those animals were well and adopted out to good homes!! The world needs more caring people like you!!! Have you ever thought of opening your own business?? That way you can get out from under that corporation BS and make a good name for yourself and the animals that you love!! just an idea

  • Amy says:

    what makes you think they deserve this being treated roughly and in a disgraceful manner its not right. no one has the right to abuse the life of such beautiful animals im pretty sure if you were a hamster you wouldnt apperciate being banged against a table or tortured this is not right something needs to be done .

  • dianna says:

    We no longer support PetCo or PetSmartand won’t until they decide to quit trading with animal abusers. We pay more now for our pet supplies but at least we’re not supporting animal neglect and cruelty. These corporations need to realize they are losing more regular long time customers all the time. Eventually they won’t be saving as much as they thought. Amazing what greed will make some people to do.

  • kristen says:

    I just don’t understand why people do such cruel things to poorkind animals!Why do they have to abuseabandon and slauter the animals?!?! the animals did nothing wrong to deserve to be treated like this!

  • shannah says:

    im only one person.i try my best to be an upstanding person. if we all try our hardest to keep the evil out of our lives we would start to see a difference! this world was not made for man. it was made to hold all of gods creatures. and the more we think its all for us the farther we will fall.

  • yadira tosco says:

    Please STOP this cruelty NOW!!!!

  • Susan Picard says:

    After learning of the horrors endured by the animals who are bred and sold for profit I have begun a boycott of stores that perpetuate this cruelty and am urging friends and family to do the same.

  • Rosemary Graham-Gardner says:

    We are so bloody arrogant in believing we are higher than animals.. No animals are as cruel as us Humans.. We have light years to go before we become civilized!

  • anna grace says:

    i cannot believe this!! this is crazy! i would be up for the idea if these conditions werent so filthy!

  • Sue Blackhurst says:

    I have never had a hamster or rodent but to see the poor little creatures treated this way I would like to “Stuff those morons that hurt them in a tub of boiling oil” and that wouldnt even be bad enough punishment for them.

  • Kim Donahue says:

    It’s a sad sad thing when people need to abuse animals. I will no longer shop at PETSMART and suggest you all do the same. They know what’s going on with their suppliers and they DONT CARE!!!!!!!!!!! All they see is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  • Brandon says:

    This is the response I got back from Petco Dear Brandon Thank you for notifying us of your concern. The Georgia Department of Agriculture opened an investigation of Sun Pet Ltd. a firm that supplies small pets to PETCO and other retailers on Thursday April 22. A final report of what that investigation found has not been released. Upon learning of the Department of Agriculture investigation PETCO sent an inspection team to Sun Pet to evaluate the situation. We will determine what appropriate steps to take based on a final report from the Department Agriculture once its issued as well as on our own evaluation. Please know that we care about our customers and what they think of us. By letting us know when we fall short of your expectations we have the opportunity to address your concerns and to be better prepared to meet your expectations in the future. If we can be of any further assistance please feel free to reply to this communication or call PETCO Customer Relations directly at 1888824PALS 7257. Thank you again for contacting PETCO. Sincerely Vincent M. Customer Relations Coordinator At PETCO Animals Always Come First… Our People Make it Happen!

  • alex hall says:

    without peta and other organisations these things would never be known someone has to give these and other animals a chance to survive and live a normal life.At the end of the day its all about greed and money. These people are just sick and dont have any feelings. keep up the good work

  • krista says:

    that is disguating. why would you do that? What have these little creatures ever done to us?

  • Marion says:

    How can any animal be treated in these conditions it is so barbaric.

  • Alana says:

    this video makes me feel sick to my stomach!

  • Krista says:

    I can’t believe they can still sell animals after all of this and all the other things they have done in the public eye no less. It’s completely heartbreaking this is going on!

  • Mrs. Lynch says:

    I agree with most of the comments here and think that there should be a total ban on all breeding. There are more than enough animals in need throughout the world that are treated like this andor euthanized due to breeders. Secondly I like the post from the PetsMart employee above who indicated that they try to save the animals who come into their store or find a humane solution for them. I think that ANY pet store should do a better job of screening their employees and implement quality control measures that prevent this kind of abuse. My fear with boycotting these stores is that the horrible suppliers will just continue to breed these poor animals and will sell them to other organizations. On top of the question about adoption. If someone doesn’t adopt these even more horribly abused animals what are they in for next? It doesn’t stop the issue. PETA is doing a great job and coupled with citizens we should make sure that these criminals are as visible as possible and closed down for severe animal cruelty. This kind of stuff just makes me sick. The rampant stories from around the world about animal cruelty of the worst kind whether it’s dogs being used for shark bait in France or the Chinese Fur Trade causes me to lose a lot of faith in humanity. Some people treat animals as if they were posessionsthings and not like the actual little lives they are. Our pets provide us with what is probably the most unconditional love we will ever receive in our lives and this is how we repay them. It’s just SICK! Thank you PETA for your dedication and efforts worldwide!

  • Tracey says:

    Without Peta these animals don’t have a chance. GREAT JOB! I really can’t understand why the human race feels they are so much better and deserve more respect than any other living creature in this world. A life is a life… whether it be a hamster a rabbit a bird ETC. I don’t know at what stage some people feel that a life is insignificant. I’m glad Peta feels all life is significant. That is the way it should be and why we need them.

  • Lisa R. says:

    Is there any place that this type of treatment does not happen?? This is so terribly sad to hear see. I just bought two sweet little Robo Hamsters from PetSmart they are so dear….I like to think that I helped them live out a better way than the way they started….unfortunately it is because of people like me that these places are still in business…who can be trusted anymore??

  • william says:

    this is r e ally sad i do not really believe that Pet co and Pet smart do that to unwanted animals

  • Michael says:

    Great job PETA keep up the good work. People need this information so the can make ethical choices. If no one knows about inhumane actions like these then they will just go on trusting these institution and blindly support their businesses. I’m not going to support these two businesses with my patronage from here on out. Thanks for the info.

  • destiny aguayo says:

    this is really sad. those jerks will get it back at them.

  • I ♥ ani says:

    All people who kill animals or who hurt this lovely pets are soooooo stupid! They have to stop it!

  • Diana Mann says:

    Animals are intelligent creatures who feel pain and terror just as human beings. Stop this merciless cruelty to animals. One day you too will know this pain.

  • Mary Wolfe says:

    I have bought products from PETCO. I hope they stop ignoring what is going on.

  • tracy says:

    its simple take them to court charge them with animal cruelty problem solved they lose their license to breed and sell

  • danielle says:

    please stop!!!



  • Debi Stout says:

    Okay people time to STOP supporting PetSmart PETCO Pet Supplies “Plus” Petland and Walmart … if these places can treat helpless animals and creatures this inhumanly what do you suppose they are really doing to us and we just don’t know it yet?



  • Amanda A says:

    this is disgusting! how can someone treat something so innoscent so cruely! All of these people should be punished and so should the companies who take part!!!!

  • Reason For Concern says:


  • KAyo says:

    You Bastards! you absolute horrible bastrads… Your day will come it will. Their hell journey will be over and yours will begin. In life its actions that decide good or evil and in this I see eveil. Your eveil vibrations will come back to you no matter where you are they will find you. Your fate awaits you too. AMEN! In GOD we trust.

  • neville says:

    these poor creatures are treated like inanimate products until they die and really do feel nothing more. Then they are thrown out like garbage. I blame the bosses and govt authorities for allowing apparentlypsychopathic employees to treat sentient animals in such a depraved and cruel way. I worked as a volunteer in a cat and rabbit rescue centre where the unwanted animals were treated with the utmost respect. Even the occasional slug or snail in the feed bins was relocated to the field outside . We need the relevant address to protest.

  • ismail says:

    In one hand we all thinks that we are not responsible for this but on the other hand if we undergo our mind our feelings and our past then can only we can find the truth. we all are responsible for this type of stuff just think who buys pets? or who gift kids the pets? offcourse we…..

  • Johan Peeters says:

    When money came into the world….every sense of ethics went away……so sad. DON’T BUY those animals and the problem will be gone sooner or later…..

  • Sini Keto says:

    Noted and sign !

  • Tricia says:

    it really is sad and also confusing as to whether or not to buy hamsters from there. or any other animal. i would think by buying them you are giving them a chance to live. but then again you are also supporting many more to be subject to the same conditions. and if you don’t want to support thos places where can you go to buy food for the animals you do have already? i have rats and i’ve already decided that i will not go to petsbarn as they sell rats infested with mites and are also sick. i bought two baby rats. i opened the cage to hold her and she died in my hands. the male is still alive but i suppose he had a stronger immune system. I dont know. anyways it seems like all these places that you would go to get animal food abuse animals. so where do you go then?

  • Bonnie Ricks says:

    Cruelty is unacceptable! When the Bible said humans were given dominion over the animals most assumed that meant domination. But the ancient definition of dominion actually means stewardship protection and nurturing.

  • Nicholas says:

    Some people have no heart no love. The company the employees the pet stores. The poor didn’t ask for this and look at how they’re treated.

  • B Dougherty says:

    I was unaware of this sort of horror about either one of these stores. For one thing I thought Pet Smart has been helping area rescues to adopt out their homeless pets. I don’t understand why some humans cannot behave humanely toward animals. There is no excuse for that cruel inhumane behavior AT ALL.

  • catherine says:

    i used to work at petsmart. i saw boxes for fish that looked like they were just shipped like merchandise. this is not new for them. they’re not mandated to create better care for them why should USDA care when they turn a blind eye to puppy mills? govt has never cared about animals. I don’t agree with animals being sold but the best thing that we can do as consumers is to not buy it. then it’ll ebb just like puppy sales have. If they want to sell the animals like pet toys then they should take some more responsibility for them by doing some adoption or at least some sort of vet care with the price. Unfortunately the fuzzy logos and sweet songs you see in commercial is crap they care about one thing the bottom line and it’s sad. customers write to them tell them you’re not going to shop there and contact PIJAC about standardized policies

  • Ranjit.Samarasinghe says:

    When will human beings be rational and humane. The entire world is tense with environmental disasters and unwanted irresponsible careless destroying of beings.GovernmentsInstitutions and insane individuals behave as if they have a right to destroy the wealth of the planet in all forms of life.They tamper with the environment as if they will be the only people to live on this planet without any consideration for the generations to come.Let us all rise above personal whims and fancies and stop being selfish

  • Victor Troncoso says:

    Petco should to dissmis their bad empoyees for animal cruelty

  • cecilia says:

    please don’t be naif…Petco and Petsmart just provide ” pets” for our kids. The only thing that we can do is teach our children that is not good to have a hamster living forever in a cage same as reptiles birds spidersetc. they can love animals in other ways not keep them out of their natural environment!!

  • E. B. Russell says:

    I have heard that these stores treat their animals horribly. Why on earth are pet stores allowed to exist if this is the way theyc care for the animals? It is all about money. I hope everyone stays away from these stores and others like it who are probably doing the same. This is just pure sadism and horrific cruelty and it is just heartbreaking to me.

  • heather says:

    I certainly hope that every single person that expressed their disgust here called Petsmart 623 5806100 or 800 7381385 and Petco 8888247257 and voiced your opinion where it counts.

  • Ana says:

    I am very confussed. I bought on this two companies because I wanted to support their charity program and adoption program. Right now I think I am not going to support them as a customer anymore.

  • sandra Aube says:

    I pray God will shine the light in to the minds of these ignorant people and bless the situation involving all life.