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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

PETCO Pays Big Bucks to Settle Lawsuit Over Little Animals

Written by PETA | June 4, 2010
Our investigator discovered these terrified hamsters at animal mill U.S. Global Exotics.
U.S. Global Exotics

Validation came this week when PETCO settled a $1.75 million lawsuit filed by four California counties over the company’s atrocious animal care record and deceptive consumer practices. The suit alleged that PETCO failed to notice or treat sick animals—and overcharged customers to boot! This lawsuit follows a 2004 case in which PETCO paid more than $850,000 to settle similar charges and was ordered by the court to implement a detailed daily animal care procedure in all its California stores. Guess it forgot.

Is anyone surprised? We’ve been filing complaints about PETCO’s abysmal treatment of animals for years. But the mills that supply the birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and other small animals to PETCO (and PetSmart) are also responsible for widespread animal suffering. PETA’s undercover investigator documented horrific conditions in the enormous warehouses at Sun Pet Ltd., an Atlanta-based wholesale animal dealer that supplies these chains. And who can forget the dead, dying and diseased animals our investigator discovered at animal mill U.S. Global Exotics?

If PETCO is apparently incapable of providing decent care to animals right in its own stores, what hope do animals have at these awful mills that churn out animals as if they were disposable toys? Buyer beware: Go elsewhere!

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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  • BrittanyHeartsAnimals says:

    I had no idea Petco was in on the cruelty, too! I stopped shopping a PetSmart about a year and a half go after finding out about their cruel acts, and have been a dedicated Petco shopper, but now, I’m extremely dissapointed.

  • ashley says:

    I have been doing projects on animal cruelty and most of the info tht i have gotten has been from petco and petsmart. they are the biggest animal killers i have researched. they should be punished and its sad how many people will buy animals from these stores and they will have NO CLUE as to what they have done to these animals. it is not right and when i get the chance i will make sure alot of pets will be safe! they have rights too! and they dont deserve the treatment they are recieving fronm petsmart and petco

  • Andrea says:

    How can they do these kinds of things when they promise to help animalsand have pet adoption fairs and events and adoptable pets in their stores?Their employees are incredibly uninformed about the animals they anywayso I don’t know why I’m surprised.

  • B.G. says:

    A Pet Smart employee recieved honors for only have a 70 death rate in thier fish department!

  • Sally Jay says:

    Anyone who is abusive to animals should not be dealing or working with animals. Why do humans always need to control and abuse leave the animals in their natural environment where they belong

  • Joanna says:

    Where to shop besides chain stores? Try a locally owned independent store. TRY looking in the phone book!

  • Charlotte Hoskins says:

    This is hurrendous! For starters anyone who treats animals with disrespect should be treated te same but only 10X’s harsher. How dare they do this to these poor beautiful precious animals. A lot of people do underestimate the life of fish and sealife and this completely wrong!

  • Chloe says:

    This is disgusting! I told my parents how much I hated trademarked pet stores PetCo Petsmart and Petland. They are cruel to animals and don’t care all they want is naive peoples’ money and to get rid of sick helpless and dying creatures. Did anyone see the Animal Planet Investigation this pass Sunday about Petland? I only saw about 15 minutes of it because I was so disturbed by it. A vet said that none of the dogs cats or birds from Petland had been to her clinic and AP asked other vet clinics and hospitals if they recalled seeing any PL pets and they said no too. This is sick and needs to stop now!

  • Lisa says:

    Simple thing to do is DONT shop at these stores dont give these animal abusers your money so they can carry on abusing and mistreating these defenseless animals i would of thought this recent case would of opened peoples eyes.

  • Heather says:

    I WILL NEVER SHOP PETCO AGAIN!!! I’m about to be sick!!!! As my mom grandma always said “Treat others including animals the same way you want them to treat you.” Keeping that in mind I say that executives who ordered or approved by silence such behavior especially those we just witnessed itthey should be treated as I said before the same as they have treated others.

  • Joanna says:

    You didn’t mention the fish they kill and torture. Please never buy fish from these places. They throw live fish in the trash every day. Fish are really the least respected of the pets in the stores.

  • AlexK says:

    Adopt NEVER buy an animal. For every animal you buy you have just sentenced another to death in the pound and put money in the pockets of people who care nothing about animals other than to exploit them. Don’t continue the cycle.

  • Anjela Shannon says:

    PETCO is lousy !!!!!! for handling those defenseless pets the way did they out to be close down

  • Vegetarian says:

    There is now an enormous PetSmart in Duncan where Walmart used to be. I want to campain against it.

  • Karen La Clair says:

    I use to shop at Petco when I lived in California but I was ignorant of this information. There is a Petco where I am in Watertown NY and I will not go there for any supplies. Actually I do get my parrot needs through Dr. Foster Smith and unless I hear something about them my special macaw treats are purchased there.

  • Sarah says:

    Having worked at 2 different petcos and frequented a 3rd I have to say it is case by case with petco and has everything to do with the manager on duty. Most of the managers had us split into our different specialist responsibilities and allowed us plenty of time to take care of the animals properly first thing before the store opens. there were a few who wanted things rushed because of other things going on but they never didn’t allow us to finish. and we always medicated our ill. However the suppliers would try to pass onto us animals with respitory problems or mites etc. None of us were pleased or indifferent to seeing them that way either it was really sad. We treated any that got past initial check in. I also belive there are irrisponsible individuals working everywhere. I believe petstore employees should be investigated individually to find out how they care for animals. Some of us really do love and care for them the others are just lazy and neglectful. I’ve seen a few in any pet store. the ones who will “check off the list” without actually doing it and when i was there i would follow up and fix those kind of things because they bother me. still do this even more in a different pet store now but i do have to say at least for my experiences petco has been the least awful i’ve encountered. perhaps ive just been lucky enough to work in ones in which the managers care and double check employees work. SF + Rocklin california petco ex employee Please understand that some who work in those places do actually care. Ty

  • Maggie says:

    I have to say that in these blogs is all talk and talk nobody writes about what they are doing on behalf of animals to protect them.

  • kirsten says:

    This is so sad and shocking. The worst part is most consumers will have no idea.

  • lynda says:

    i only wish the guilty parties at Petco and Petsmart would have to endure the same treatment. it just might wise them up a bit. i bet they would then get it that they have no right to treat innocent animals in such a horrific manner. sickening! i think they should just close their doors forever! i will never shop in one ever!

  • blanca says:

    Im in shok for sure i will let everybody abouted as an animal lover

  • jenny says:

    If we can’t go to Petco or Petsmart then where the hell are we gonna shop?!

  • Linda says:

    I have owned small furry pets on and off for years. I have always felt small pets in retail stores have been treated kinda shabby. They are pure profit to them. I am pet free right now but in my hamster owning days my female would get pregnant I would go into pet stores and be shocked at prices….I gave my babies away to people looking in to buying one…

  • DCM says:

    With the current pollution and overpopulation of people and pets pushing out NATURE’S BREEDS…. do we really need to breed STRAINS OF PETS that are not natural to the planet? How many suffer homeless or are gassed for every one sold?

  • Jim says:

    We as animal lovers should not frequent Petco or Petsmart. To think of the horrific treatment these animals have to endure… Buy elsewhere give what you save to PETA.

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