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Brookstone In Trouble for Running Illegal Pet Shops

Written by PETA | August 24, 2009
columbia / CC

Brookstone’s “Frog-O-Sphere”—a tiny plastic box containing two African frogs and a snail—is a guaranteed death sentence for these animals, who are slowly poisoned by their own waste in these mini-prisons.

Brookstone store employees—many of whom are straight out of high school, not vet school—are the sole caretakers of these animals while the Frog-O-Spheres are in the stores. According to Brookstone’s head honchos, the only time these frogs receive any “care” is when employees briefly peer into the Frog-O-Sphere to check on the animals’ condition. After performing these spot checks, employees are instructed merely to write down whether the frogs are “expired,” sick/injured, or healthy. Despite any store’s claim that it has a veterinarian on file (per the Frog-O-Sphere SOPs), sick or injured frogs never receive medical attention. Instead, these animals—who are sensitive to sound and even minimal changes in temperature—are merely stashed in the back of the store until they either die or recover on their own.

Turns out this is illegal—in the Garden State, at least.

We did some digging and discovered that pet shops in New Jersey are required to provide veterinary care for sick or injured animals and must be licensed with the township in which they’re located—both are details that Brookstone seems to have missed.

After we brought this to the attention of NJ authorities, PETA received word from across the state that inspectors were on the case (PETA quickly confirmed that a Princeton-area Brookstone has no license on file, and alerted local health authorities, who immediately issued a cease and desist order to the store.). The state’s Office of Animal Welfare has also taken an interest in this matter because Brookstone was informed about the various permits that were needed before its stores even began selling these tiny torture chambers, but the company failed to obtain them.

Click here to tell Brookstone that it’s time to stop selling living beings at all its stores.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • Hello says:

    If they take care of them they should be alloud to sell them, and they DO TAKE CARE OF THEM.  I took care of them when i worked there, and very few of them died in my store. We didnt just do spot checks, we fed them talked to them, we even named a lot of them.   What do you think is going to happen to the ones that have to be taken off the shelf.  We will send them back to the company doubling their chances for dying.

  • Sabrina says:

    I recently bought one of these I feel so horrible. I am going to buy them a proper tank and food today. I am going to go back to the store and make them give me two more so I have two more lives saved to put into proper care. Is it possible to sue Brookstone for deceptive advertising?

  • James says:

    I think this problem is going on in many other states as well. In Langhorne Pennsylvania for example there is a Hallmark store that sells these “torture chambers”. I asked the employees if it was legal and they just shrugged and a girl said they die all the time. What a disgusting thing for Hallmark to be involved in.

  • Mary says:

    I got a frogosphere as an early Christmas gift. Two weeks after having the frogs one died. He looked healthy and swam okay then I found him dead one morningI suspected the fungus Chytridiomycosis. Then I bought a larger tank new food a heater thermometer ph tester water conditioner changed his water etc. everything to make my other african dwarf frog comfortable. I was hoping to save him from the same fate of his friend but three weeks after I got the new set up and 2 50 water changes later my second frog died Towards the end his skin was flaky he tried to hang out towards the top of the tank and once I even found him stuck to the aquarium wall just above the water line He slid back into the water after I tapped a few times. He also seemed lethargic at times liked to hide a lot and randomly active swimming around fast toward the end. Had I not gotten the frogosphere as a gift I would have never bought it myself. The tank is too small the poor frogs are sick to begin with and the 2 frogs 2 pellets twice a week gimmick is a huge stretch. I thought I could rescue these guys but it was too late. BROOKSTONE NEEDS TO STOP SELLING THESE FROGS. I’ve heard of the conditions that they were subjected to while under Brookstone’s care and it’s horrible. If restaurants can be shut down for unsanitary food preparation why can’t stores be shut down for inhumane and unsanitary animal handling.

  • Laura says:

    they are also I n Hallmark in Ellicott City Md. What can I do to help. My 11 year old was up all night thinking about how awful these frogs have it. She wants to go buy them all and set them free. I told her that would only make them want to sell more.

  • fred Brown says:

    they are also selling these frog o sphere in Hallmark store Stoneridge mall in Gahanna ohio. I would think they maybe are selling them in other Hallmark stores but not sure.

  • Emily G. says:

    Aww poor frogs and snails. Locked in little prisons all of there lives. If you go on the webpage for these FrogoSpheres on the Brookstone website most people who have bought this say the frog died in a week!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    When my sister and I were kids before I knew better we used to catch tiny frogs and make our own frogospheres which I now refer to as torture chambers out of glass jars water and rocks. Knowing that we could not care for them correctly though after a few hours we always returned our captives to where we found them. We did this about once or twice during summer vacations. Knowing what I do now though if I had kids I would not let them do this.

  • lynda downie says:

    Yay Peta! Great job!

  • Gregory Fein says:

    I saw these things at a Brookstone near where I live in Jersey long before this investigation. They are disturbing as all hell. The frogs don’t even move as if there would be much anywhere to go. They just float hopelessly in the water. When I first saw it I thought it had to be a joke item. I figured the frogs had to be made of rubber. Nope.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    America neads a powerful politician Reverend or social justice leader that exclusively accentuates the moral imperative for people to cease and desist from exploiting killing and mistreating God’s creatures.

  • Chris says:

    Thank you PETA. I hope they get the crap fined out of them.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I still think the frogs and turtles sold by the street vendors in Los Angeles Chinatown have it worse. They are sold in plastic boxes with no water at all and not even a snail for company. As for food the customer buys that separately and it’s their choice to buy it or not.

  • Edward says:

    Yes New Jersey is famous for the mafia and recently the black market for kidneys. At least they care for animals.

  • Rex's Mom says:

    I have lived in NJ my entire life. It is good to know we are doing something right!