Skip to Main Content

Bea Arthur Asks PetSmart to Stop Live Animal Sales

Written by PETA | June 11, 2007

Bea_Arthur.jpgThe wonderful Bea Arthur, whose record in terms of helping to advance the rights of animals is as impressive as her unforgettable performances in Golden Girls, has gone out on a limb once again for animals—this time to help the rats, lizards, and other animals who get a raw deal in pet stores, where they’re inadequately cared for and often destined for a miserable life even if they do survive the lousy conditions they’re kept in.

Bea, who was deeply affected by PETA’s undercover investigation of a PetSmart store in Scottsdale where scores of small hamsters, birds, and other animals were left to suffer and die, has written to PetSmart CEO Philip L. Francis urging him to permanently end the sale of live animals in his stores. As she puts it in her letter,

“This was a store that, according to one of your executives, has ‘an outstanding pet care team and an exceptional pet care record. But PETA’s findings show a sad and different story. . . . I look forward to the day when you stop selling live animals. Until then, I cannot in good conscience shop at PetSmart, and neither can my friends or family.”

You can check out her letter here, and the investigation that she’s referring to is below. Thank you, Bea Arthur. You rule.

Commenting is closed.
  • Paula says:

    Good for you Bea Arthur for speaking out!! I can hardly stomach any news of cruelty to animals. . any kind. I hope not all Petsmarts are guilty, but I tend to agree with Maya’s comment that the problems start way before the critters make it into the store. I’ll continue using my PetSmart discounts to buy food there though.

  • julie bonner says:

    I think this is allfull the worse footage i have ever seen these stores need to be closed down. Those poor poor poor animals . I really feel for them they should be shot for doing this to these animals they have feelings just like people

  • Norma says:

    When someone sarcastically wrote if Petsmart employees should make house calls after the animals leave the store. Welllllll bottom line is NO store PetsMarts or any other stores have any business selling ANY animal. And about house calls if PetsMart insists on selling animals well then maybe employees CAN make a quick check up call to the customers who did buy an animal from them. It comes with the territory. Petco is cutting back 30 of animals being sold in their stores. This is a great start to phase out the selling of animals at Petco. Please adopt hamsters bunnies and all other animals from your local shelters and even if you have to make a little drive to get to the shelter. It’s worth it. Let’s not support any pet stores that insists on selling animals. Fortunately at my local shelter they even have the bunnieshamsters spayed before adoption and it was because of public pressure. On another note If Petsmart insists on selling animals in their stores then they should take the criticisms when another Petsmart store leaves animals left to slowly die in a backroom.

  • Nathan says:

    That maybe true but they do not treat all the animals like this. In the PetSmart near me I’ve seen a lady who goe’s into the cat ‘room’ if you will and get one cat out at a time and actually play with them and pet them. So don’t bad mouth all PetSmarts.

  • Steven says:

    Again I want to stress that not all PetSmarts are like this. Im on a pet care team in a store and every one of us does a great job taking care of the pets in our store. Tammy I think you should get your facts straight before you run your mouth. First off animals don’t come to stores in cardboard boxes. None so far as I’m aware of have ever arrived dead. And if an animal gets sick the first thing we do is take it to a vet. There is no Banfield in my store so they are taken to a local animal hospital that specializes in exotic animals. We also don’t even sell “little bottles of that stuff that PetSmart sells as sic remedys” much less use any for the pets in our care. We do exactly as we suggest to customers is they have a sick pet get it to a vet asap and follow their directions. And yes that does mean prescriptions. we have the authority to deny selling a pet to someone if we believe they aren’t going to take care of it and that authority is used. We also give free “care guides” explaining the needs of that kind of pet as well as walking the customer though all the requirements of that pet and making sure they understand them. other than that how are we supposed to make sure the pets lead happy healthy lives after they leave our care? What do you want us to do make house calls? NatureMuzic we don’t sell cats or dogs! There are no puppykitty mills you idiot. We give store space to local shelters so they can find homes for homeless cats and dogs. I cant speak for all of our stores just mine. But grouping all PetSmarts in the same category as one bad one is stupid and wrong. Just like calling all Islamic people “terrorists.” Its ridiculous.

  • Anonymous says:

    i do not think they shold hurt poor animals

  • Anna says:

    I’ve worked at Petsmart for almost a year now and have seen way worse than what is in that video. the first week we opened all of our small pets got wet tail fish died left and right birds pulled out all feathers in stress. its not fun coming to work knowing that you will find death everywhere. none were taken to a vet. i was shocked to find out that all my manager did was write a complaint letter to DC about all the dead animals and requested more animals for the next week. our store strictly prohibits cameras and phone for all employees so that video is a great depiction of an animals life at petsmart. and all other petcare employees you know that those animals can get much better care! so don’t lie to your self we all do the morning DEAD RUN!

  • Alisa says:

    I have worked at PetSmart for almost 6 months now. I had the same experience as you Cindy when I was 12 years old. My hamster the only one of 4 I owned that was bought from PetSmart ended up with a tumor months later. But I do not believe it was PetSmarts fault. I do not want to elaborate why becuase I have a very long rant on one of the other PETA blogs but PetSmart is a great store an awesome place to work and I love taking care of the animals in our store. I’m really sorry about your hamster and I assure you that is a very rare case and that you next experience will be much better.

  • Cindy says:

    I bought a Black Bear hamster from Petsmart 4months ago. Shortly after I bought her she started losing teeth. She looked great was very tame and friendly and active. Last week my daughter noticed a large bump on her pouch that grew rapidly and to make a long story short it turned out to be a tumor. When the vet examined her he found another lump under her neck 2 dark tumors on her back and forehead 4 on her eyelids and 2 more pinpoint size tumors beginning to grow. She had an enlarged spleen and gum problems also. I am terribly hurt and angry that these animals are raised in such horrible conditions it’s hard telling what my poor hamster was exposed to or how this could possibly happen to her at such a young age. The vet told me he has never seen anything like it. Needless to say she didn’t make it and now I have the horrible ordeal of telling my 9 year old daughter that her hamster is in heaven when only this morning she was going to the doctor to get better. I am curious as to how many more of the hamsters from that litter have the same horrible health problems that mine did. I’m furious that this happened and I’m even more furious that I find out about Petsmart’s reputation afterthefact from my boss. I had no idea. THIS HAS TO STOP!! How can they get away with this?!? It makes me sick that anyone can allow this or purposely hurt these innocent animals. I think that anyone who does this sort of thing or knows about abuseneglect and DOES NOTHING needs the exact same thing done to them. I am going to do everything in my power to find a way to try to stop this. I just don’t understand how some people can be so evil!!!!! How can anyone just put a sick animal in the back of the store to die? Do people actually take their sick animals back to the store for a refund which I personally can’t understand anyway and this is what happens to them? UNBELIEVABLE! We have a responsibility to report any type of abuseneglect in any pet store or anywhere for that matter.

  • william says:

    not every petsmart is the same. cause they had some bad people working for them. and i got both of my cats from petsmart and i would do it again. so leave petsmart alone and get on with your lives. you punk loser’s

  • NatureMuzic says:

    While some PetSmarts may well take care of their animals bottom line is they should not even be in Pet stores pet stores puppykitty mills !

  • raychel says:

    3 words SICKSICKSICK!!!!! what disgusting fould people let poor animals get in them conditions they should be hanged bxxxs!!!!!

  • Tammy says:

    Short sweet and to the point I don’t care how well the animals are treated at PetsMart. They are bred in mills not the most ideal conditions I’m sure. For the person who works at the PetsMarthow many of the animals make the nice trip in cardboard boxes alive to the store? How many arrive sick? How many are seriously taken to a proper vet for care? I can’t believe that the Banfield vet or whatever it’s called connected to most PetsMarts are trained to care for exotic animals. I don’t think opening one of those little bottles of that stuff that PetSmart sells as remedys is giving proper vet care… How many of these animals are purchased as impulse purchases? How many will lead unhappy andor unhealthy lives? All animals purchased at PetsMart may not be in that position but 100 happy healthy pets is NO excuse for one miserable sickly little life. Just sayin’….

  • judy davis says:

    How do I rescue a homeless beautful dog n Turkey? I am a tourst and I don’t think I’ll be the same wthout him. I would have to get hm to Alabama. No ears perced and one hp s crushed so he uses three legs. He looks to the toursts for food and s gentle and meek. I have been upset and can’t thnk of anythng else. I have money saved but don’t know f anyone n pAMUKKALE would be able to fnd ths lttle creature to get hm to a lovng home for good care. If I hear from anyone wllng to help I’ll gve more ngormaton on hs descrpton. If anyone n Turkey can rescue ths meek lttle dog I would be forever grateful. I wll be home on June 23.

  • Becca says:

    I agree that animals shouldn’t be sold at pet stores…I just didn’t want the entire Petsmart to get a bad name because they give a lot to charities and shelters. I work for a shelter now and we always need money from companies like Petsmart.

  • Michael says:

    I love Bea Arthur. She’s a woman you wouldn’t want to mess with but she’s got a heart of gold no pun intended.

  • Maya says:

    Becca I’m a certified vet nurse and a wildlife rehabilitator. Please understand it’s not that the people that you worked with are bad people. I can’t speak for PETA but the issue is much larger than just the store where you worked. All stores that sell live animals need to stop. Not enough room here for me to go into details but let’s just say the tragedies begin long before the animals get to the pet store and continue long after they get to the buyer’s home. As a vet nurse I’ve seen hundreds of neglected reptiles and birds. Much of the time the nutritional and housing care in pet store literature is scientifically wrong. There is no screening process so the buyers are getting these animals for all the wrong reasons. Add to that the fact that biologically reptiles and birds and chinchillas etc are not designed to live in a house and the results are disasterous. I’m postitve that the people at the pet store love the animals. Believe it or not in vet tech school I was required to spend time in a research lab working with lab animals. Let me tell you those people were the most kind peaceful gentle people I’d ever met. They did the best they could to keep the animals comfortable. But the conditions made the treatment of the animals inheirently cruel. There is no way yours or anyone elses kindness or knowledge can make a pet store a good place for reptiles birds and other exotics who belong in the wild and nowhere else. I hope you are still working with animals in a professional capacity since you are obviously very kind and intelligent.

  • rachel says:

    Becca Even if your specific PetSmart treated animals well most of them don’t. Even the ones that do treat them better at the specific stores still get them from breeders who treat them poorly. So there is still suffering all along the lives of the animals even if at some stores it isn’t as bad as it is at others.

  • Becca says:

    Please don’t give all of the Petsmarts a bad name. I worked at one in Louisville and the animals were treated wonderfully. I have been a longtime PETA supporter so I wouldn’t have hesitated to blow the whistle if I saw any mistreatment.