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Birds From PetSmart May Kill You

Written by PETA | June 17, 2008

Killer birds from PetSmart. It sounds like a reimagined version of Hitchcock’s The Birds or maybe Troma’s follow-up film to Poultrygeist, but it’s a true, tragic story. A bird-loving family from Corpus Christi, Texas, reportedly lost their beloved father—and the daughter almost lost her life—after they both contracted psittacosis from a cockatiel whom they had purchased at PetSmart and named Peachy. Check out the Associated Press Article here if you don’t want to take my word for it.

Peachy, who also died, allegedly from this “parrot fever,” was bred at Rainbow World Exotics, a breeding mill that PETA recently investigated, where we found rampant abuse and neglect of small animals and exotic birds. Bird-breeding facilities such as Rainbow World Exotics are no different than puppy mills—they’re massive animal factories that crank out birds with no regard for their health, happiness, or individual best interests. It doesn’t just hurt the birds when unsanitary, inhumane conditions are the norm.

The good news is that this heroic and forever scarred family is now standing up to PetSmart and demanding an end to the sale of all birds. And you can help them succeed!

And please read this important info about how to keep you and your bird safe.


Angel’s Story: Another PetSmart Casualty

—JoelPosted by Joel Bartlett

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  • Maggie says:

    I accidently came upon this because my sister just had a sun conure die that she bought at a Petsmart in Chicago she had it apporx. 7 weeks. She took it to the vet they said it appeared to be a bacterial infection. Poor little Angel all that suffering for what??? My heart just broke watching that and the cries from litte Angel actually freaked my Cockateil out!!! His feathers are still ruffled and standing straight he looks like he is in shock from listening to this horror! They should be shut down!! I don’t know how the person that filmed this didn’t run with that baby they have more strength than I could ever have!!

  • Catherine M Arsenault says:

    I couldn’t watch anymore It was horrible and broke my heart. What are they doing about this? It has to stop now!

  • Anon. says:

    This makes me sick. I have a Goffin’s and it really hits home. Personally I bought from an at home breeder who taught me on hand everything about taking care of my baby and if anything every should happen I got every method of communication from them fax pager cell house email. I’m not against these beautiful creatures being kept as pets they bring so much joy to our lives as we bring joy to theirs. If you can properly take care of a bird have a large cage plenty of stimulation and tons of ‘out’ time they are amazing pets. I myself will be investing in bird flights as soon as I have money as I would love for my babies to be able to experience that freedom. At least in captivity they don’t have to worry about being poisoned shot poached hunted or eaten. I can’t speak for every owner out there as I know of some rather horrid cases but most birds receive great care vet visits access to fresh water and food whenever they need it. You can really tell when they’re happy and when they aren’t. I just wish people knew how to take care of them. They aren’t just some run of the mill little pet they require so much care and since they are exotic higher bills. I am sad to see so many of these beautiful animals wind of in shelters abused and unloved. Adoption is always the best policy but sometimes it’s just not feasible. One day I hope to have a rescue facility for all kinds of animals so they may live out their days in peace somewhere they never have to worry about getting beaten or hoping they get fed again.

  • veronica says:

    i fill so sorry for that bird

  • stephanie and mariana says:

    stephanie THAT WAS SOOOOO MEAN HOW COULD ANYONE DO THAT TO A POUR INNOCENT ANIMAL?? I CANT BELIEVE ANYONE COULD DO THAT!! 0.0 “” marianaUHHHHG MEANI ROBOT SICKOOOS UGH IMA EAT YOUR BRAINS AND VETS ARE NICE PEOPLE THAT DESERVE A VIST EVERY ONCE IN AWILE JEEZ THEY NEED FRIENS OKOKOKOKO OMG I LIKE TYPING THAY OKOKOKOKOKOKOKO SEE ITS FUN TRY IT OKOKOKO O O WAT WAS MY POIINT O YEA MEANIS GET A LIFE BYE!!

  • Elsa Roux says:

    This is out of our hands this is only for money and not love tender care the same way you would care for your love ones. Please if you need some help in South Africa I thin a lot of my fellow friends will be glad to help. The lady for doingrecording the video you are fantastic love to you all

  • mary says:

    I bought my parakeet from PETSMART and is still alive today!

  • Ellie says:

    I do not understand how he person working under cover could have stood there and done nothing for so long. That bird was SCREAMING in pain! I would have broken its neck. It was going to die anyway. It should have been put out of its misery instead of having to suffer like that.

  • Addie says:

    The dumbest part of all this was recording this to the end with NO HELP for the poor bird. Just plain dumb! We got the picture we just 25 minutes of the video. Now was it necessary to wait until she killed the bird?..NO! Just as cruel as Petsmart or whoever else. Just wrong..Plain wrong. If the caretakers refused to give it adequate attention when asked by the undercover one in that moment he or she should of split with the poor bird and taken it to get some help. I don’t think the caretaker if you can call it that would have been so dumb to go claim it knowing she would have gotten charged with animal cruelty. I personally own an amazon which I love as one of my children. She has been with our family for many years and gets treated as one.She sings and plays all day as she knows she is loved. NowI will never buy another bird knowing what I do today after years of reading. I’m just so glad for my baby been alright and happy as this is not the case for almost all others..Sad..very sad.

  • Tracy B. says:

    The bird known as Angel was crying out for help. She should have been taken to the vet’s. She needed proper care love and the attention she deserved. This is wrong… when a bird cries out like that… please tell me something is being done to stop the cruelty.

  • alex says:

    i have a bird of my own and if you take care of the bird properly you wouldn’t have ANY problems with it. my bird id just about to turn one

  • shayy says:

    that was sick and disturbing! why the hell would anyone even think about doing that to an animal? im not a big fan of birds but i sure as hell would put aside my fear to help that poor baby! who ever would do that needs to be severly punished! no “well maybe she didnt know better.” or “she was told to do that”.”she knew exactly what she was doing and is a sick person!

  • Edwarda says:

    first of all this is cruelty how ever you look at itif you think that this women is feeding it then why did she handel this bird so rough when she knows that angel is sick and why did she not get the bird some help thinking that she can handel iti came across this site because i was looking for a avian dr. and this is what i found it’s discusting she should be hung from her toes the little thing was sick she was to cheap to get a avian vet.i love my bird cocketiel pokey i would not let anything happen to him that’s why i was on the net.this is so disterbing why did this envestigator not get any help for angel and just watched and let it die she’s just as guilty.

  • aannee says:

    First this is not at a petsmart and second they are not flushing angels crop they are feeding her. Is every animal or even person born healthy no they are not. Some times there is nothing you can do to save a life

  • margaret says:

    I went to a PETCO for the first time yesterday. They had one sweet little bird in a glass cage that was so desperate to be handled. I was unaware that Petco had live animals just thought they supplied food etc. After reading these posts I am so disgusted I went to this store and feel so terribly for the bird. I really wanted to buy her and get her out of there but then they’d just get another and another. She is in a loselose situation.

  • Kelli says:

    Dear readers I am writing and asking for help. I am a new owner of a beautiful female canary I named Magenta. I purchased her from a local pet store named LM pets in Hudson NY. The woman behind the counter told me to put corn or vegetable oil in magenta’s seed food to help her pass her eggs easier. I didn’t know any better because I have never owned a canary before. I gave Magenta about 18 tsp. Not even in her food. She has become sick. Her eyes on her right side has closed swollen shut and crust has formed in the area. Her left eye is starting to do the same. You can tell she is sick. She is off balance and she is having trouble breathing. Its breaking my heart. I hear her whimper as she is trying to sleep. I have called every vet in my area and even out of my area. They only treat Dogs and cats. I am at a loss. I love this tiny bird. Can someone give me advice that will work to help my poor Magenta?

  • michael moore says:

    I own a bird and it has free run of my house did not buy it from petco lucy has been my buddy for 5 years with no health problems

  • Ron Bainbridge says:

    My wife has a sun conure and it is a female. Wife is on vacation and the bird has laid 2 eggs in the last week. Usually they are found on the bottom of the cage. I just remove them. Well today she laid her second egg and now she is trying to sit on the egg. This is a first no she has not mated. What should I do? Ron

  • crystal Tuske says:

    i’ve read many of the responses posted here. and i a see everyone here loves birds. i hoping some one can help me. i’ve had my cockatiel cupid for almost 5 yrs. he’s always been healthy. about 4 weeks ago he started to get sick and i took him to his vet and was told he was born with chlymida and is just showing symptoms now. he started getting injections once a weekneeds 2 more and ever since he’s been sick not acting like him self. then on sat night he started having what i believe to be seizures multiple times but the last one was very bad and very scary. he got very stiff and struggled for air. i rushed him to the emergency animal hospital were they kept him over night and did blood work. he also had what he hospital called “episodes” but would not call them seizures because their not sure. all blood work was normal. he came back home on sun and seemed fine but tonight seemed to have a few “episodes” not very bad but once i put my hand on him he stops. the doctors have no answers for me and im very nervous for him. does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

  • Rachel primeau says:

    Someone PLEASE write a letter to the president on banning exotic animals i think the time is right on people not being able to afford such luxurys.SOMEONE PLEASE WRITE I will but i think it would be best for other people to write as well.People who know how to get their point across in a professional manner.!!!!!!!PLEASE PEOPLE these animals need people to speak for them We HAVE TO BE THEIR VOICE!!!!!!!!!!

  • peter yannakoureas says:

    this will always haunt me and its so sad for the poor thing

  • Reeses says:

    What is WRONG with these people!!!??? I think that they are VERY stupid idiotic lazy ugly CRUEL thickheaded and every other mean name in the dictionary! Yes I’m talking to the evil brainless people who diddo this to poor birds and other animals!!! Oh yes I went there! If one of you lazy jerks who does this to animals are reading this get a life!!!!!! Animals should be respected and cared for just as “special” humans are. Animals don’t cheat lie steal or commit crimes like humans do! And yet somehow we think we’re better than they are. Ha! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! I thank all of those who have the brains and heart enough to know that this is wrong. And i stare down at those filthy people who don’t care about animals. Disgusting. Anyway I really do hope that this is STOPPED once and for all!!! And yes I believe that it will stop some day. So guess what? For all those cruel people out there your evil days are OVER! Thanks and sorry for such a long rant people who are cruel to animals are so numb!!!literally

  • dawn says:

    that is one of the most sick events of animal care i have ever seen. how disturbing!!!! if you dont care for animals or even like them why do you work for a pet store? angels video was so upseting i could not even finish watching it!!!!people that handle animals like that make me sick!!!

  • Jackie says:

    May God have taken the pain from this little soul before it became too great. I hope that people suffer the same pain the instilled on the animals on the day of judgment. PETA don’t stop what you’re doing. You ARE making a difference.

  • Carol marshall says:

    I don’t think I have ever been so mad and angry ! That poor little bird Angel did not need to die. If I had been filming this or worked at this pet store. I would have called a television station and have gotten that bird to a vet. I probably would have just taken the bird and then taken the bird to vet. I know stealing isn’t right but you don’t let a helpless animal suffer like that! I would have mailed them the money for the bird. I’m sorry but letting a por little bird suffer like that is just plain wrong wrong wrong !

  • DANNIELLE says:

    I can’t stop crying how could someone allow this to happen? how can some1 treat an animals with such disregard? I will NEVER shop at pet smart again they should be called “pet killers r us”

  • Barbara says:

    My love bird died without warning or even to appear sick. She just fell of her perch and was dead she was six years old my husband and I really loved that bird. Does anyone know why a lovebird would die so suddenly?

  • Micheal says:

    Not really Petsmart’s fault the animals are sold in bad condition like you say it’s more of the supplier’s fault. If you’re going to blame anyone blame them.

  • jeanneadele says:

    i was only able to watch the first moments of the video. the sight of the baby birds struggle plus the sounds… i am a wuss i know… i burst into tears and couldn’t watch the rest.

  • mike falcioni says:

    i have a 1yo community Finch as of this morning she is acting a little sick .her eyes are open as normal .she is eating and drinking .she has no dearer but she stays in one place for some times with her feathers puffed up she also seams the be having a hard time flying but she can get up on the perches.her breathing is a a little heavy .and she is not breathing with her mouth open .about 4 days age she had 3 eggs and the male and her was trading off sitting time on the eggs.so i know she is not binding .yesterday i got some hay from the pet store and put it in the cage .i do not know it this has anything to do with it .out side of her sitting around and with her puffed up feathers she seams to be ok.what should i do i am worried about her i also have raped a heating pad around one of the corners of the cage for extra heat. can you help me in this matter thank you mike f

  • Stephannie says:

    Poor Angel! RIP you poor bird. My bird is a cockatiel and has free range of the house and can fly anywhere she wants.she gets her cage cleaned all the time and gets plenty of excersice and is well known that she is very loved! I just took her to the vet for a complete physical and found out that she is in great health. The vet bill was $247.50 so if you think that birds are cheap think twice.If you adopt treat them the same way you treat your kids! LOVE THEM!

  • Brittany says:

    Petsmart does not treat their animals badly. If you have such an issue talk to rainbow.

  • Terrianna says:

    This is just wrong i cant belive anyone would do that but human beings are cruel. Angel looked like she was in alot of pain and they didnt care. I stopped buying from petsmart awhile ago but my aunt wont stop or my cousin they dont believe any of it. They dont believe in anything to do with the animals cruelty stuff. like im a vegitarian becasue i saw what happens to the animals but they dont believe that. PETA has really changed my life and i know im saving animals now.

  • Krystal says:

    I wish I could have 5 minutes with that Animal Abuser who did that to the poor bird. I would love for her to tell me how it fill’s having a tube stuck and forced down your throat and being force fed well dying! I can’t believe these people have no hearts at all and see what they do to these animal’s and they dont care for the pain they go threw! I hope this is stopped and soon!

  • Abby says:

    God oh god! It’s idiots like these that make me wish the human race NEVER existed! You know the world was in peace till humans came in. No cruelty except in hunting no fights and love was shown all around but then WE showed up and there was no such thing as peace AT ALL!!!

  • Susan says:

    It breaks my heart to see how the birds are treated at PetSmart. I enjoy sharing my home with rescued zebra finches and cockatiels and one budgie from a local pet shop that was irresistible. When I go into Petsmart all I want to do is buy all of the birds. It takes everything I have not to encourage this horrible place. I went in there recently and there was a handfed sun conure basically having panic attacks because it was all alone. The zebra finches were overcrowded into a cage and there were only a couple of females to probably 12 males. Some of them were on the ground with injuries. The doves were crammed into a cage and some of them were roosting in the feed cup because there was not enough space on the perch. And don’t get me started on the parakeets. It’s as though because they are so easily attained that people forget that the budgie is one of the smartest and most emotional birds out there. Honestly though I suppose it’d be better for them to live in a crowded cage than to be purchased by a parent on a whim and then sit in a cage alone for the rest of its life. Anyway just venting here. When I complained to the management at Petsmart I was told that they take sick birds to the back for treatment. I asked her why then were there finches on the ground all puffed up and close to death. She said that she’d have someone take a look. I’ve been going in there for two weeks and the same birds are still plucked and sick. I can’t stand it.

  • alexis says:

    I feel so sad for Angel. And I as an animal lover felt disgusted to what what happened to Angel. It was the employee’s fault and the owners fault who didnt want to sell the bird to the investigator. I wish that that Agel could’ve lived a longer life way way longer up to 70+ and she died at 4months that is really sad I have two parakeets one a wild one but we tamed him and hes the smallest sweetest thing and a girl we bought her from petssmart but we dont know if she was neglected by any employees perhaps maybe thats why sometimes she acts in a mean way to our other parakeet boy. but i really do love them both so much and i hate to even see an animal i dont even know die that makes me really sad and it makes me think about how much i love my animals my two parakeets and my german shepherd so much and how much they need to be protected and feel safe with us humans no scared or annoyed of us i really wish that there was no such thing as animal cruelty but the world is not perfect there are good and bad people out there and animals cant speak like us they dont tell us theyre being neglected its out duty to help them not to torture them. I love animals so so much

  • unknown says:

    Is that a video from the Ranibow supplier because that doesn’t look like a store facility.

  • kim says:

    GO LIZ! They dont see our side they will never know how great our store treats our animals. They find the worst stores and blame all of us when its really a Petco

  • Courtney says:

    I would just like to say that I am a Petsmart employee and I disagree with a lot of things that are being said here. At Petsmart we have very strict policies about the treatment of animals. Yes some of the policies aren’t as great as they should be such as the introduction of unquarentined fish into the aquatics systems however we also have a lot of great policies. For example every bird and small animal that comes into the store to be sold is quarentined for a minimum of a week and if there are any medical problems the animals are brought to the vet and treated as quickly as possible. Do not take your hatred out on Petsmart. Instead try to solve the problem by looking at the root of it the breeders and “animal mills”. We are doing a good thing by raising millions of dollars for pet charities and by informing customers to the best of our abilities. Also we have the right to refuse the sale of an animal to any customer. How many other chain pet stores do that? I always go the extra mile to make sure our animals are well taken care of. And I’m sure almost every other Petsmart associate out there is doing the same thing.

  • morgan says:

    i want to be an actavist aggianst these things

  • Kim...Again says:

    Actually… We have an opportunity to reject birds we do not think are to our standards. Most pet stores like the mom and pop shops dont even know HOW to fix these animals. We stopped carrying birds to solve the problem. We also transferred foods to specific medicated food and water treatment to solve this problem. We never had a severe case except cockatiels which are still not being carried bc they are the true carriers. We also spend usually over $500 on animals at Banfield to treat and care for them. If you want to vent about animals… Talk petco. There aviary is a closed in room with very little human contact and a small AC unit. I used to volunteer at the SPCA there before working at Petsmart. Also they can’t tell if their hamsters have WT or anything. My store has a very big group of people in Pet Care who WILL treat the animals and if we can’t we put them down. Only in horrible conditions do we do that. And it is very rare to be affected if anything you’ll just get Chlamydia! Which I’m sure you and your moronic PETA friends have. Maybe the stores you’ve visited have horrible staff and employees. But my store is very educated and determined to solve the problems and spend big bucks which most corporations don’t. So go suck it. PS WE HAVE NEVER SOLD RABBITS OR ANY KIND OF BUNNY. SAME WITH FEEDER MICE OR RATS. IT IS COMPLETELY 200 AGAINST OUR POLICY.

  • Liz says:

    posted by monica fushiki “I bought my little Westie from Petland. Thank heaven that she was there only a few days before I bought her! I doubt she was bred in a puppy mill because the worker there showed the papers proving that her breeder was a vet from MO. Hopefully I can do some undercover work myself. ” monica your westie was most likely produced in a puppy mill despite what her papers said. if she was bred by a reputable breeder she absolutely would NOT have been sold in a pet store. by buying and “saving” this poor little puppy mill puppy you have encouraged both the pet store and the mill to produce more “poor little puppies” for people to rescue. while you may have done some good for your westie you have done little else but perpetuate the problem of puppy mills and pet stores. and for the record i am an animals rights supporter however i am NOT a supporter of PETA.

  • Ted Whalen says:

    For a chain store like Petsmartthey are not very petsmart at allthey should stick to selling pet products only and let someone else sell the animalsthey do not know much about itchange your teaching to your help or close down.

  • Rich says:

    I used to work for pets at home who bought out petsmart in the UK. several times the birds go psittacosis and had to be destroyed. to be fair many of the staff have the animals best interests at heart but are forced by the company to spend more time stacking shelves etc etc instead of tending to the animals. when the fish arrived from JMC aquatics they were poorly introduced into the aquaria with other fish. any aquarist knows that fish should be quarantined as newly acquired fish are very prone to disease. to make matters worse the new fish are sold that very day! also when dead fish are returned under the 7 day guaranteeno water test is performed on the owners tank water. therefore we would never know if we were inadvertantly selling fish to a toxic tank and an early grave.

  • Mary says:

    I bought my little Westie from Petland. Thank heaven that she was there only a few days before I bought her! I doubt she was bred in a puppy mill because the worker there showed the papers proving that her breeder was a vet from MO. Hopefully I can do some undercover work myself.

  • monica fushiki says:

    how cruel are you to these animals? wait i dont have to ask that because i know your extremely cruel to animals. there not the ones who are vicious you are petscruel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marissa says:

    For all of those asking Why didnt they do anything to help Angel? Apparently you are unfamiliar with how an undercover investigation works. Ill give you a minute to take careful note of the undercover part. Anywhere an investigator goes wrongdoing is found its inevitable at these places. If the investigator were to say Hey! Im an undercover investigator and Im telling on you! Do you think that would help? The USDA already does nothing to protect animals in these types of facilities so sadly evidence is needed otherwise its just pointing fingers which will lead to nothing. In this case the investigator did all she could. She reported it to the owner and numerous employees on several different occasions. She even asked if she could buy Angel or just take the sick bird to a vet which the owner laughed at. If the investigator would have just taken the bird that would have been considered theft. Unfortunately the law doesnt protect these animals as it should and investigations are a necessity and an essential way to see behind the walls what no one wants you to see. My heart goes out to all the investigators putting themselves in the most abhorrent conditions everyday to save the little guys so many people dont care about.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kim I’m not sure I understood your statement correctly but are you implying that psittacosis does not make people sick? Acutally it causes severe pneumonia sometimes fatal. Ask any doctor. Are the Petsmart bigwigs lying to the staff? That’s brilliant.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kim I’m not sure I understood your statement correctly but are you implying that psittacosis does not make people sick? Acutally it causes severe pneumonia sometimes fatal. Ask any docotr. Are the Petsmart bigwigs lying to the staff? That’s brilliant.

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