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PETA Submits Complaint to D.A., Calls On PETCO to End Animal Sales in Flood-Prone Stores Nationwide
For Immediate Release:March 21, 2013
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Johnson City, N.Y. -- After 16 months of Freedom of
Information Law requests, PETA has obtained Johnson City Police Department
records related to the drowning deaths of up to 100 animals—including ferrets,
birds, snakes, and others—in the flooded Johnson City PETCO store in September
2011. The records reveal that four PETCO managers knew that the store might
flood before they closed it hours earlier than normal
on September 7, knowingly abandoning hundreds of animals caged inside, despite
a federal warning that creeks like the one behind the store were likely to
flood rapidly. Even when at least one manager knew that the store had been
ordered to be evacuated and a senior manager was told that the animals
"might be under water," no action was taken to render aid to them.
In light of this information, PETA has filed a complaint
with Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen alleging violations of New
York's animal-protection laws and asking him to press cruelty-to-animals
charges, as appropriate, before the statute of limitations expires in
September. The PETCO managers involved with the case still work at the store.
PETA is also calling on PETCO to stop selling animals in all its flood-prone
stores, as it did on reopening the Johnson City store in April 2012.
"PETCO must be held accountable for the suffering and
death that its managers caused when they left
hundreds of caged animals trapped in the store, waiting helplessly for
assistance that never came," says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty
Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch.
found that the flooding of Johnson City was the subject of at least 15 National
Weather Service watches, warnings, and forecasts starting 36 hours before PETCO
management staff abandoned the animals. Staff left the animals behind 30
minutes after officials had forecast flooding
of "record severity" just upstream of the village.
For more information,
please visit PETA.org.
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.