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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.
  • Tina Oecal says:

    This is rude and awful! We should all boykott PETCO and PetSmart and force them to stop this cruelty against animals immediately!

  • maryellen flynn says:

    this is the most disgusting thing that i have ever seen in my life. this is just as bad as human rights injustices. THANK GOD FOR PETA.

  • Marianna says:

    I honestly can’t fathom why these fn losers would do such things to these tiny animals and what’s worse is no one’s doing anything about this but Peta!!! I wish the people that put these innocent little creatures in that environment it should be done to them and worse!!!! They need to be charged with cruelty to animals!!! Please STOP THIS NOW!!!!!!

  • Karin says:

    I went into Petco a couple of weeks ago with my husband to get cat food and I was just checking the animals making sure they were ok. I saw this parrot with one eye closed and he was shaking so I called the staff person over to show him and he walked around and made a kiss sound and he finally opened up his eye and he said he would keep an eye on him. So I go in just to check out the animals to see if they are ok but I will not buy anything from there anymore. Thank you PETA. You are awesome.

  • Brenda Roze says:

    I think PETA ought to work even harder to stop animal cruelty around the world. We need more organizations like PETA to fight all of this primitive and horrible torture to those beings who don’t have a voice. We need to work harder!

  • nancy laganiere says:


  • Sonja Bonfils says:

    Disgusting … Animals deserve love and respect not to be treated in such a filthy way! Animals do are sensitive! Such a company should be ashamed! All the more reason then to boycott them!

  • dolores says:

    this is terrible…how can this happen to animals…this needs to ”STOP” and these people should pay for what their doing

  • Adilia germana hohagen says:

    Parabns a Peta Por este incansvel Trabalho em Defesa dos animais.Beijo um grande Toda ESTA Equipe de anjos Pessoas iluminadas.

  • Carolina Bustos says:

    They should get some jail time to think about it.

  • chris says:

    thing is people do crappy things doesn’t mean they get mistreated at the stores though you cant just keep assuming that everyone in any pet industry is bad its not right for anyone

  • Norma says:

    What can we do to help?

  • Holly Amirault says:

    This is so horrifying! I will tell everyone I know not to shop at these stores! Is there a petition we can sign to get this place closed? Or to outlaw this type of animal factory? How can this be legal?

  • Norma says:

    Is it legal to sell hamsters as food for snakes??? I witnessed this transaction while visiting Petco last weekend.

  • Nicole says:

    This is just EVIL !!!!

  • Barbara Denny says:

    What the bloody hell do you do over there in the states in your so called PET stores. Its about time people over there learn about this and STOP buying any animals from these stores. People need to SPEAK OUT.

  • lori corbett says:

    OMG this day and age and this still goes on. why must man be so darn stupid. these animals are living breathing loving and they care for there young. what gives us the right to harm them. it makes me sick. as for the petco petsmart i do shop that these store for food and supplies for my animals. i will not get anything from them untill this stops. what else can we do? i am there for animals not people. god bless all of you for helping stop this.

  • ALINA says:

    Un horror! Esa gente no tiene corazon acaso? Son animales no cosas!!!

  • Minttu says:

    That was totally sick fking these sunof a bitches can live with them selwes.These chains should locked up for good! horrrible persons who do this st

  • Robert Raible says:

    Despite what some people might say about PETA and it’s “radical” tactics this kind of investigation is immeasurably valuable. No one else is exposing this kind of cruelty. My membership renewal will be in the mail this afternoon.

  • Julie Peters says:

    I was absolutely disgusted to see the type of cruelty that occurs. I have hamsters and a guinea pig for pets and would never dream of treating them this way. If you can’t treat animals the way they are meant to be treated than you shouldn’t be in that line of work. I used to buy my pet supplies at Petco or Petsmart but I can promise you that changes immediately. Even if I have to spend a little more money to get my pets things it will be worth it to know that I’m not supporting a nasty and cruel company. I will also be sharing this info with everyone I know and I will make sure they don’t support them either. Petco should be ashamed of themselves!!!

  • Olinda Hernandez says:

    I have dedicated my life working in the pet industry since 1981 and these horrific crimes against animals is something that to this day I cannot and will never understand. It has been proven that mass murders have performed acts of animal cruelty as children. So what are we dealing with here? I am more disappointed in Petco and Petsmart. I thought mass retailers of this magnitude would perform more ethical practices. I guess it’s time for me to shop for food and supplies elsewhere.

  • Vivien Green says:

    Petco and Petsmart are dead in the water to me. I will never shop there again and will put this story out to my friends and family .

  • Michele Stipe says:

    This is sick! What I don’t get is they have prisons for those who commit murder why not put these idots who kill animals in some prison? I can’t believe this it actual makes me so pissed off! People who abuse animals should be behind bars.

  • Judy Lane says:

    Animals are not a commodity like flour or sugar. They are living breathing beings. To put them into tubs is dispicable. A culture is judged by the way it treats it’s anumals. Our culture is failing fast.

  • Betsy Maltby says:

    Absolutely disgusting! PetSmart and Petco should be ashamed and as for me I will not isit these places again. In Denver there is a reputable pet store named Pet Palace on Quincy and Parker and they just became my new best friend!

  • Christine says:

    Horrible no matter the animal that is simply terrible.

  • Michelle says:

    This is sad and disgusting. It breaks my heart that humans can be so mean to other living creatures! This needs to be stop immediately!!!

  • Lia says:

    I am so angry. You know what? I wrote an email to them. I am angry.

  • Isabella says:

    Se subiscono questo trattamento proprio a causa delle persone egoiste che comprano questi poveri aninali alimentando questo mercato..non comprate animali adottateli!!!

  • Nikki Mounteney says:

    This makes me feel sick! I wish there was something we could all do! Any Ideas?

  • Kris says:

    This footage isn’t nice but nothing compared to what happens in the exotic skin trades how cowscattle chickens pigs are raised and slaughtered. At least someday most of these animals will be sold and get to live in a home with maybe 1 or 2 other animals occupying a cage. Animals raised for meat and apparel will NEVER get that chance. By giving up meat and dairy we would be doing a lot more good then boycotting PETCO and PetSmart.

  • Diane Ingram RN MEd says:

    These people should be incarcerated for their crimes and banned from working with or owning any animal for life. Their names should appear on an Animal Abuse Registry. As for the businesses they suppy the most effective response obviously is to abandon frequenting these locations.

  • Carolina says:

    omg this is terrible!! this should be stopped

  • susan says:

    This is unacceptable!! Stop treating these living creatures as though they were unfeeling rocks.

  • Elisabeth says:

    This must come to an end

  • Ravi says:

    Some would say why isnt animals welfareveganism and vegetarianism discussed as UKs ethical and sustainable policy to save the world and why is it just three white lads of the three main parties and thier white sub lieutenants taking part in the election debate which costs tax payers and arm and a leg and a circus?why arent there high profile femalesblackbrownwhite or mixture of hew leaders in the debate?It seems to many thatthat the three lads including Nick Cleggwho was Margaret Thatchers protegee for Europe want to stay on centre ground of politics and only deviate in the swingo meter ten degrees left and right of centre and dont discuss issues which matter to folks up and down the country as there are million of animal rights activists and millions of vegans and vegetarians.Is it an establishment of child abusersslaughterors peasant and none land owners and farmers stitch up of mother enaglandonce a nation of animal lovers?phew.

  • marilyn mckinstry says:

    i wish you had a facebook icon to click so i could share your articles with friends on facebook

  • Emm says:


  • Ewald says:

    What the h? Why do people stuff like that to animals. Animals have the right of a normal life too. The people who do that are just f crazy! Somebody make them stop!

  • julles says:

    petsmart you are abominableto treat lving little creatures lik this u shouldthnk whatit would be like for youto suffer this way they put their little livesin your hands to be abused and hurt kindness costs nothing and feels good to

  • Cernunnas says:

    there arent words to describe people like that…

  • Carmen Hagel says:

    I can’t stand that. Such a cruel! I hope this people would be punished in hell!!! Thanks PETA for your work.

  • dumas says:

    There are some deeply disturbed individuals in Amerrica and all over the worls i see i quite sure you should rethink not how to stop those cruel actions but how to make sure the citizens of your country get more educated and live in a sane invironement! I m sure no happy presonne or an educated one would never do such a thing!

  • julie bonner says:

    This is dam right cruelty how would they like if we did it to them They must stop this cruelty . We bought our hamster from pets at home he had wet tail but survived and is doing really well He is well loved he has a very very very big cage 3 levels its huge . He loves it with his toys and we let him out every night for a good run around on the floor Not A BALL . hE IS FED WELL AND KEPT VERY WELL thats how it should be with animals . Who knows a good uk company that sells no testing on animals products much appreicate letting me know

  • Kerrigan UK says:

    Shame on you…There is research that shows how cruelty to animals leads to cruelty and abuse to people…these people should be imprisoned

  • Stella says:

    Oh my fk! I can’t believe that they do this? I mean even if I was a stupid bch who chucked animals into tubs everyday I would start to feel sorry for them at the very very least. EVERYONE STOP BUYING YOUR PETS FROM PETCO AND THE OTHER PLACE OR SOMETHING AND ADOPT. MUCH BETTER AND YOU EVEN GIVE AN ANIMAL ANOTHER CHANCE TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE.

  • SANDRA ROCHA says:

    Stop all acts of barbarian cruelty against innocent animals!That stupid sick disgusting people deserve deathwarrant immediately without no mercy!!!!

  • Abhinav Goel says:

    So called humans should be put in jail. An animal life should be as equally important as a human life. Just give them a free space to move around in a clean environment. My blood boils when i see things like these happening….


    I am disgusted by this I feel physically sick from reading what these people do to animal. They put their trust in these people who abuse them. I hope someone does to them what they have put these poor animals through. How do we let this happen!!!! Its such a cruel world