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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.
  • kat Hall says:

    This is inhumane…this has to stop God did not put animals on this earth to be abused he put them on earth to be loved and cared for. This is so cruel I do not know how these people sleep at night just remember what goes around comes around pay back is a bitch! Lets hope you are all reincarnated back as animals!!!

  • lisa bailey says:

    i havent seen the video as animal cruelty upsets me too much but seeing the photos was bad enough to make my stomach turn. lets all help close this store down they shouldnt be allowed to sell animals if theya re kept in these terrible conditions before they are sold to hopefully loving homes them poor animals have to try and get back to normal after receiving such horrific conditions prior.

  • geegee says:

    you idiots i love animals

  • sue lesmond says:

    Petco and PetSmart are vile and disgusting. Boycott them and I hope they go bankrupt. Rot in hell bastards

  • Melinda says:

    I hope that all people will practice what the some Indian religions practice RESPECT FOR ALL LIVING THINGS and that include all animals. Afterall we are all God’s creation.

  • Marie says:

    I have not liked petco since I heard they have mouse traps in their stores. They basically kill any mice that they don’t sell. This is so unfair to those poor animals. They are smaller but they are no different than a cat or dog. It is horrible that people are doing this to small animals that get hurt more easily. I hope they find a way to put a stop to this cruelty

  • Nan Oggiono says:

    I will NEVER shop there again! Just horrible.. They lost one customer with 7 cats and a dog!

  • golnaz Bassam tabar says:


  • mary says:

    We as ‘humans’ should be ashamed!!!! Freedom of choice is what gives us this barbaric choice in life!!!!



  • Andie says:

    This is absolutly discusting!!! PETCO and PetSmart should be shut down because this is an absolutly horrifying way of treating animals the people who work for there companies should be ashamed of themselves!! I will never shop at PETCO or PetSmart.

  • Lori says:

    How can these people sleep at night. Have they lost their minds? I feel that the life of an animal holds the same value of a human life.

  • Lillian says:

    It is tragic that in this day and age there are companies and the individuals that carry out these tragic actions for these companies are allowed to breathe. These companies and individuals are the evil of the world and should be castrated without mercy. I am not going to shop in such stores to help their evil cause on such helpless creatures.

  • Chantal Gagnon says:

    It’s disgusting the way animals are treated especially in these warehousing units. I have not shopped at either of these stores and never will how can they hold their heads up knowing the truth in what they’re doing. Believe me if the price was high enough these types of people would be selling humans as well. There is no soul or shame in the Corporate world nor in the people who work for them. They deserved the same treatment.Gosh……????

  • TJ says:

    i bought my pet hamster at petco and i have more than a few friends who have bought pet rats from them…i can’t believe they were treated like this! and that they even made it alive! this is horrifying.

  • rebecca ferrell says:

    this is cruel treatment and your companies should not support animals abused like this.

  • marie hartenstein says:

    when will this stop? We have to do all that we can to stop this insanity. What kind of people do this. I want to see there faces so that I will know what a real animal looks like.

  • angela says:

    one word prosecute these cruel vile people.

  • Cassandra says:

    Is it so hard for people to understand the value of lives whether the life in question is a human or an animal? Clearly it is yet to be acknowledged that animal abuse is no different than human abuse. Just breaks my heart.

  • ANGEL says:

    Does it get any worse than this? How cruel!

  • Carol Levine says:

    Disgusting. Start selling your shares of PetSmart and Petco. That should wake up these companies. ADOPTIONS should be the ONLY live animal activities in these stores!!!!!

  • Jessica Lovell says:

    Stop this mistreatment now!

  • Isra says:

    Boycott Petco Petsmart

  • Therese Kutscheid says:

    That is disgraceful and need to be stoped NOW! How can that be stop by low? No living creature should be erlaubt to be sold in any shop.

  • elizabeth says:

    Smarten up Petco and PetSmart!

  • Jessie says:

    I will no longer shop at Petsmart or Petco until hey stop selling animals. The supplies are more than enough to draw my business and that of millions of others.

  • Cheryl Stapleton says:

    I don’t understand the human mind at all. There are many ways to make money without harming our animal world. There are materials that can look and feel like fur. We are not in an ice age either where people have that excuse for needing a fur coat. I wonder if JLo still wears furs. Does anyone want to ask her.

  • Josh says:

    It’s disgusting the way animals are treated especially in these warehousing units. I have not shopped at either of these stores and never will how can they hold their heads up knowing the truth in what they’re doing. Believe me if the price was high enough these types of people would be selling humans as well. There is no soul or shame in the Corporate world nor in the people who work for them.

  • Janice says:

    Maybe Petsmart doesn’t know about this because their animals are well taken care of. I used to work at a Petsmart. They do so well to keep them healthy and they make sure that they go to good homes. If you want to talk about horrible pet stores try Super Pets and Jacks Aquarium and Pets in Ohio. At those places if you buy any pet rodents you’re usually taking home one that’s pregnant. Petsmart keeps all of their animals seperate.

  • Michelle says:

    I will NEVER buy a product from this company again. To think employees would return them without food or water… WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO!.

  • Karen says:

    Animal abuse is NOT acceptable under ANY circumstances. But tell me you boycott Kroger or Randalls because of the treatment of chickens on the farm? Do you threaten grocery chains with “sabotage” because of factory farms? Just because Petco sells live animals instead of neatly packaged fillets does NOT equate to Petco being evil. Grow up..and place the blame on the ones committing the horrible acts. Petco and Petsmart are not the only companies buying animals from brokers. Your little Mom and Pop shop aren’t raising hamsters in sunny daisy covered fields..don’t fool yourself. They buy from brokers as well. Every day I deal with parents who want to treat animals as disposable toys for their rotten kids..and then there are very responsible pet owners that give their pets everything they could possibly want. PEOPLE are the problem..not Petco. I believe there is a real opportunity to educate every child who shares their life with an animal about the needs and responsibilities of pet ownership. Once a child loves an animal he or she is much more likely to protect animal rights as an adult. Personally I don’t trust any soul that doesn’t share their lives with an animal.

  • celest says:

    this is terrible. i’m really glad that so many people have been commenting on this… i’m glad so many people know i had to scroll for a long time to get to the bottom of this page. I got my bunny munchkin from a petstore.. but now i know better..i’m horrified that anyone could treat my gentle little pet so badly I plan to adopt a doggy from an animal shelter EVERYONEADOPT!!! so this CRUELTY will STOP!!!

  • Donna Ellis says:

    I was in Petco last December. A young boy working there was placing cages with various animals on a table and getting ready to literally package them up. One of these was a beautiful Teddy Bear Hamster that clearly had glaucoma and was totally blind. I asked the boy what would happen to him and he quietly told me he would either go for medical reasearch or be killed because he was “worthless”. Big surprise….when anyone put their hand into the cage he would bite them. Now if you were blind and a potential predator was grabbing at you might you try to defend yourself? Needless to say I made them give me a price and Teddy Bears now lives with me. It took some time and patience but Ted no longer bites and adores affection. As long as you talk to him first and let him know you are there and let him smell your hand. He has a hamster ball and loves to roll around the house…yes he crashes into everything but he is safe and happy.

  • Amy says:

    Another example of how PATHETIC humans are why is there a need to treat animals so cruelly and like they are objects..They ARE living beings just like us they have feelings emotions personalities everything that we do..I can’t get over ALL OF THIS but also of what the article said about how the stores ship back animals as if they were “Damaged Goods” Petshops make me sick!!!!!!!!!!!I am so sick of Cruelty to Animals!! This has to stop and we have to get these idiots SHUT DOWN!

  • Alexandria Christmas says:

    I bought Cuddles my beatiful guinea pig from there and she died an abrupt and quick death after only a couple months. She looked healthy but her skin had patches and she often shivered. Kids can do a bunch to help to. Kids can understand too I’ve been part of PeTa since I was 9 I’m 11 now and Peta does great things for animals. I will NEVER buy my animals or stuff there again. I’ll use a shelter! Alexandria Christmas

  • Cindy says:

    I am so upset how the animals are treating.. What so bad we have a Petco in Meridian Ms and I told my Mom not to go there cause of what I had heard. She doesnt go there…

  • Ana Ulisses says:

    thank you kor helping animals. you make me happy. i am shocked with this things.

  • Zukie says:

    How can this happen to animals like this I mean I bought two parakeets from PETCO two years ago and sometimes buy my food from there. When I first heard about this story I think these hamsters or any small animals should ever be confined in small areas or go through the abuse that they went through before being sold over to PETCO. How would you like your genitals squeezed liked the knobs on a PlayStation 3 controller? It wouldn’t be pleasant at all!

  • Dr. Bobby & Ginny Bonometti says:

    There is NO EXCUSE for cruelty these practices need to be ended at once.

  • gail says:

    My local Petsmart in Gainesville Ga takes hamsters and birds and all kinds of small animals to our local vet. I see them there all the time dropping off or picking multipul animals.

  • PJ Rosch says:

    just awful

  • Melanie says:

    Breaks my heart.. animals are so precious. I wonder why the hearts of thepeople that are doing this are so cold or do you think something inside of them is not at peace

  • Jyll says:

    I am just mortified when I see situations like this. This is very wrong!!!

  • Holly says:

    im really surprised by this. i always thought that if someone worked with animals that they loved them. i hope that this comes to an end soon

  • Ginette Aymont says:

    It’s horrible it’s cruel!! Arrter de traiter les animaux de cette faon. Stop this please!!!

  • Ester Jansen says:

    We act very low on life if we allow this to happenmake life respectable again

  • Neeta Shenoy says:

    What I would like is an alternative source for buying my pet food. I do not want to give any business to these horrid companies

  • Marilyn says:

    i will never buy another thing from Petco as long as this continues !

  • Holly Eckert says:

    I’m glad to learn that something is being done about this horrific situation. I am also very concerned about another situation that I wrote to you about a few months ago. I never received a reply. Baby chicks were being fed into a type of chopper and of course were alive and not anesthetized in any way. Where is the outrage and action that should have been taken immediately?? Please do something at the very least publicize this horror. How can the chicken industry get away with this? PLEASE HELP!! Thank you Holly Eckert

  • Gayle says:

    What would we and the animals do without PETA! I hope PETA sends all these comments to PetSmart and Petco. I know that these companies received a lot of phone calls but seeing this in print should convince them that they truly are in danger of losing a large amount of customers!