A PETA investigator went undercover at Sun Pet Ltd., an
Atlanta-based wholesale animal dealer that supplies animals to numerous PETCO
and PetSmart locations,
among other retailers across the U.S. Video footage and photos taken by
PETA's investigator show the widespread suffering of hundreds of birds,
rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, and rats in Sun Pet's enormous warehouses.
On April 22, 2010, Georgia Department of Agriculture representatives descended
on Sun Pet, which was, unfortunately, tipped
off well in advance and apparently took the opportunity to clean up its act.
PETA has requested an investigation into the leak that prepped Sun Pet for the
Department of Agriculture's visit, but so far, no one has been held accountable
In August 2010, PETA learned that the
Georgia Department of Agriculture placed Sun Pet on probation for
two years and imposed a penalty of $3,000 to be paid immediately if the company is found
to be in significant, repeated, or similar violation of the state's Animal
In addition to the misery of confinement to extremely crowded containers,
forcing animals to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate all in the same space,
PETA's investigator recorded the violent killing and abusive handling of
hundreds of animals.
One worker put live hamsters into a bag and then bashed the bag against a
table in an attempt to kill them—one of the animals was seen suffering and
panting heavily minutes later. Other animals whom Sun Pet could not
sell were gassed in a crude, filth-encrusted tank. Animals who got loose in the
company's warehouse suffered horribly after ingesting the poison that Sun Pet
sets out to kill them.
A supervisor trained PETA's investigator to determine animals' genders by
forcefully squeezing their abdomens "like a … PlayStation controller
handle" to make their genitals "come out." "You could throw
them against the wall and they'll stand back up again and keep on
running," Sun Pet's supervisor said to PETA's investigator when ordering
him to pack and handle animals more quickly. In more than three months
of employment, not once did PETA's investigator see anyone from PETCO's or
PetSmart's corporate offices inspecting Sun Pet's facility.
Sun Pet also purchased animals from U.S. Global Exotics, the filthy Texas warehouse from which more than 26,000
animals were seized in December 2009 following another PETA undercover
investigation. Sun Pet also purchased thousands of animals from unlicensed
vendors, in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act, despite
previous warnings by the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding such
PETA's investigator documented that PETCO and PetSmart stores returned
animals suffering from illnesses and injuries, sometimes without food or
water, to Sun Pet instead of providing them with veterinary care or basic
necessities or even putting them out of their misery. The animals were hauled
around in cardboard boxes in the backs of trucks traveling hundreds of miles
and many hours from store to store until they finally got back to Sun Pet, and
many died as a result. View photos taken by PETA's undercover
You can help secure justice for all the sensitive individual animals peddled for profit by urging PETCO and PetSmart to stop selling live animals in their stores.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.