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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.
  • Aron Chalie says:

    I hope that this f… persons feel some day the pain of this animals. Should i have the chance to catch one of those persons this person would feel the pain a live long…thats for sure. rgs. from germany

  • sanjay lawand says:

    Pl stop this cruelty at any cost. one day Man will eat the earth.

  • Mila van den Berg says:

    It is so terribly they have all the same feelings as we have but very short life. and peoples found the way how to make real hell feom every day of their short life. We can be proud it seems! and everybody knows 99 of experiments in laboratories are done just for any plan for to prove what we know already or n ot need to know at all. Why we call ourself humane? We are much worse then everyone whom we call animals!!!! I think God and Nature will give us back all what we did so bad on this planet….

  • Clara Marchana says:

    Sem palavras. Um ser humano que trata assim os animais no poder mais respeitarse a si prprio nem aos outros. Por Favor Parem com as torturas aos Animais!!! STOP NOW this treatments to the animals!!!!!

  • Carita says:

    Horrible! My God how awful! Is there a mailing address we can complain via?

  • Robert says:

    People like this should be behind bars! And there should be a law that forbids having animals as pets!!! Obama do something for these creatures that can’t speak or stand up for themselves! Thank you PETA for being the greatest.

  • Veronica says:

    Well we can only pray that these so called ‘people’ are stopped without hesitation. One would assume wronglythat working with animals would mean they are animal lovers.Thank God for the wonderful work of Peta for uncovering such atrocities.

  • Sonya Armenia says:

    This is sick these places need to be shut down like now ! Every body needs to go to these places kick off about it so every1 that is shopping there hears everything these places will soon learn that they can’t treat animals like this !

  • Nadja says:

    I can’t understand how people can be so heartless and so cruel!!! I wish I could take all them idiots who treat animal this way and just send them in a box some where and let them know how it feels to be treated that way. Animal abuse and animals used in product testing and for fur is a disgrace to this society and to this planet!!! If alien could see us I hope they give some of the people brain cells so they could think about what they’re doing and not do this kind of things! Much love from Sweden to all PETA folks and especially PETA itself!! Thanks for being a voice for those sweet animals that don’t have one. I hope I will be able to stand up for them in the future myself like Michelle Culver.

  • gabriella says:

    wtf how mean srsly people should treat animals like that coz they have feelings too and also how would they like to be treated like that. animals deserve to have a life. they should be killed to eat or for science or furskin and wat ever else.

  • Antonio Daniele Lucca says:

    At times human beings can be the worst animals on earth and this video has proven this fact! I call these guys INSIDE BASTARDS!! BASTARDI DENTRO la sola parola che si addice a questa gentaglia! VERGOGNA!!

  • bart says:

    Please close all of these terrible places where they torture animals in this way now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chantal says:

    This is just plain sick.

  • Lian says:

    This really angers me that a person could have no heart shame nor brains for that matter! I really believe that there must be something wrong with these people that do horrible things to animals. This is truly disgusting and a end needs to put to this horrible treatment for all animals around the world! Thank you PETA for all your hard work and bringing this not only to us animal lovers attention but to the rest of the world who might never have known the cruelty that actually takes place.

  • chiara says:

    Aren’t you ashamed to cause such pain and sufferings in these beautiful beings? Please stop it!

  • Lupita Hernandez says:

    I used to work at a Petsmart and I had to quit because it became too depressing for me. I wish I’d had the courage back then to try and expose them somehow. Not everyone there is horribe… us in the pet care department really did care for the animals it’s why we worked there. However we don’t get properly trained and when an animal would get sick we did not have the power to take it to the vet. All we could do is ask and bug the manager to take it to the vet but he’d rarely do so. We would try to do our best paying extra attention to them and using store supplies such as med and vitamin supplements but many times we’d fail. It was extremely distressing when I’d open in the mornings check on the animals and find one dead that could have been saved had it been taken to the vet. PETA I wish I’d had your courage. I’m sorry I didn’t. Maybe there’s still something I can do.

  • ada pelleg says:

    Stope animal abuse. Dont buy anything handling and dealing with animal life. Ada

  • Dawn Coetzee says:

    This is really so horrible. These are obviously people who are driven by money no feelings or compassion for the life of an animal. To me this is sad a life is a life and it should be treated with respect. If you can not respect a defenseless animal how can you respect anything mostly yourself. This is heartless and cruel.

  • Birgit Petersen says:

    I fail to comprehend that human beings can treat other living creatures this cruel. To see things like this really upset me. A society’s grade of civilisation can be measured on how it treats weaker beings and I think this way of treating any living creature is beyond any words existing. The russian author Dostojevski says somewhere in the novel THE BROTHERS KARAMASSOV “…..and the animals treat them kindly as they are God’s most innocent beings. Don’t take away their joy of life and their will to live. But we the humans pollute the earth and leave dirt in our footsteps alas so do we all”. And this was said as far back as in 1840’es. Yes this cruelty MUST STOP WE WILL NOT STAND FOR IT! Thank you to Peta for drawing out attention to this injustice.

  • Rose says:


  • Alexis Arambula says:

    My heart broke into a million pieces watching this! How could anyone be so cruel!? I mean do they enjoy killing and suffocating little hamsters? Oh and that Guinie Pig!! That was terrible!!

  • celia elena fraigola says:

    STOP CRUDELTY WITH ANIMALS!!!Now we have live cells to make experimentes.Animals are bore to live like they are they are not toysthey have pain and they are sensitive.Plese don not use animals any more!!!!And if you do that unless kill them before making crudelty on them.Thanks

  • Kristof Bauwens says:

    unbelievable … so cruel

  • Mikka MH says:

    Somebody needs to plaster posters all over the front of the stores for the public to see. THE TRUTH JUST MAY HELP a little when it comes to ppl possibly turning away from the entrances. I would really like to take pictures of me stuffing those azzez into bags and bashing them across tables and than stuff them into steamy hot boxes and ship them to the farthest place possible.

  • s coromel says:

    stop shopping at these stores.

  • Brandy says:

    To be perfectly honest rodents make awful pets for most people anyway. People get them for their children or because they are board. When the novelty passes and they usually end up neglected. I would not recommend anything that’s in a cage as a pet.

  • Brandy says:

    I bought 2 Guinea Pigs from Pass Pets in Knoxville TN before they closed and one of them died before I got it home.

  • Liz says:

    Never buy any animal or anything at petsmart or petco! 4 years ago my boyfriend surprised me with two cute baby rats from Petsmart. This was of course before we knew how horrible it was to buy from pet stores or breeders. They got top notch care from both of us. only the best lab blocks food water tons of attention. We kept them in a huge cage and always washed our hands before handeling them. But… they were extremey sick all the time. They had mycoplasma pneumoniae. This is common in Rats even from breeders. You are lucky to get one that isn’t sick. It was heart wrenching to watch their slow death. They only were with us 1 12 years. It also cost $1600 in vet bills. Vets charge the same for small animals as big dogs or cats. Think twice before adopting any animals. Never buy from pet stores or breeders. If you are going to rescue a pet make sure you have the financial and emotional means to care for them as well. It makes me sick what is happening to our furry little friends. This to me is a horrible crime and needs to be illegal.

  • nancy says:

    As horrible as all this is the good news is that PETA is on it and change happens when they investigate these sort of things. Hopefully they can put these guys out of business as they have in the past with other animal abusers. You go PETA!!!!!

  • sue lesmond says:

    Humans appaul me. How dare anyone treat a defenceless animal like this. Why hasnt the US govt intervened with laws against such cruelty.

  • Erika Ferraro says:

    It’s orrible. The men are the animals.. Poor little hammies what a life! I hope this will stopped. God help us

  • Terry says:

    It is very sad that some people have such little regard for life that they feel nothing when treating helpless creatures in this way. PETA does good by exposing this cruelty so that people who love animals can see. We all unknowingly allow these people in the pet tradeindustry to profit from our desire to have animals as pets. We must send our message to anyone who profits from the sale of animals that they have a duty and responsibility to make sure they are obtaining them from reputable breeders who treat them with respect and care. I will be notifying PETCO and PetSmart that they will not have my business until they take measures to be sure they are not obtaining animals from places like the ones exposed by PETA.

  • Sarah says:

    I think i threw up a little bit in my mouth it’s so bad…..

  • Adair Leonard says:

    I am thoroughly disgusted with people who inflict horrible pain and suffering on poor innocent animals. They should not be allowed near an animal of any kind if they don’t have compassion for them in fact they should be locked up. There needs to be stiff penalties for people who torture animals. There should be a stop put to animals sold at pet shops. And it’s all in the name of greed. SHAME!!

  • Outraged says:

    I am beginning to wonder if people who take these jobs love what they do? Like the videos of inhumane treatment in the slaughter houses defenseless small mammals. There should be some sort of policy to keep these sick individuals away from abusing animals. A way to background check like we do with child abusers etc. Something like this makes me so sick are we not stuards of planet God gave us??

  • ryan says:

    I love peta and all who care for animals. Peta you are great and motivate me to change the world for hampsters and all are informing the next generation myself included and there will be a day when all the hard work will pay off and we will sleep in peace knowing all animals are safe from humans.

  • Jessica says:

    This is the most horrible act of cruelty! I am out raged! I use to buy all my pet supplies from both of them. Not anymore! I have told family and friends to stay away from PetSmart and PETCO! I have passed this on to my facebook friends and have several emails circulating the globe! This has to be stopped!!! The only way we can win is to spread the word and voice the TRUTH to all that will listen also calling the companies corporate office and expressing our concern and anger with the way they treat their animals. PETCO has an “adoption” center for unwanted pets. i.e hamsters There was a hamster in one of their cages that was missing a hind leg. They told me that I could not buy her because of the missing leg. I asked what they would do with her they said she would be put down. There was no need for them to do that she was happy and didnt seem impaired at all. She could run on the wheel eat and play with no problems. I told them if they were going to put her down that I would take her. I had to sign off on paper taking responsibility for her the paper also stated that at no point was I going to blame them for what ever she out come might be. She had a rough life before I came along and she had a very bad future to come if I hadnt taken her. I am so grateful that I did. I took her to the vet and she turned out to be VERY healthy. She lived a full and happy life! Much better than what she would have had if I would have left her. WAY TO GO PETA!!! Thank you for all you guys do!! I became a vegetarian and am thinking of becoming a vegan since I joined your campaigns! Thank you once again!!! And I will keep following this story! And I will be calling PETCO and PetSmart!

  • Tito Cottignoli says:

    Cruelty is fed not weakened by tears so fk those bastards!

  • lashawn says:

    Thats so horrible it makes me sick! I can’t belive that humans would do this but the proof is in the pictures they are fighting an crowding around for that water! its sick sick sick the employees should have a right mind to tell the proper enforcment but atlas they dont KUDUS PETA !

  • juan fernando says:

    this is soo disgusting barbarous

  • Dlieb says:

    I will not be giving any business to Petco or Pestmart from now on and I will certainly let them know why.

  • FS says:

    This makes me so sad. We don’t respect the earth we don’t respect animals and we don’t respect our food. We’re just so ungrateful and it really hurts to see this. Very sad. I hope more legislation changes such offensive and cruel behavior soon. We can only hope.

  • Frances Ancona says:

    This pain that they are inflecting on animals has got to stop!!!

  • Andrea Gonzales says:

    It’s sad to see such cruel people working with animals who can’t defend themselves.. people like them should be treated the same way they treat those poor animals. They make me sick to my stomach… Thoses places should close down now.. nobody has the right to treat animals that way. Hopefully this spreads out more and people learn what happens behind doors with those companies.

  • Andrea Gonzales says:

    It’s sad to see such cruel people working with animals who can’t defend themselves.. people like them should be treated the same way they treat those poor animals. They make me sick to my stomach… Thoses places should close down now.. nobody has the right to treat animals that way.

  • John Ilalio says:

    It definetly makes your stomach churn!

  • Shalimar says:

    This is such an inhumane world.Do people really think they can get away with treating God’s creation like that? He put us in charge of watching over the animals but instead there is abuse every where we look! The only thing that keeps me involved in animal rights is knowing they will answewr for what they do. The pain of watching these videos reading articles in the paper is overwhelming me but I can’t stop if I can save a life.I hope our Creator shows the same degree of mercy that these people have shown to His creation.

  • allegra ramey says:

    thats fking sick how could you do that to an animal

  • Salara says:

    I already called Petco and complained. Petsmart is now closed but i surely will call them in the morning!

  • ULFRIC says:

    To bad animals can not rise up take out the worthless humans that run this planet. So we have to fight for them and I hope all those humans involved with harming animals die a slow painful death.