Update: WSB-TV in Atlanta has reported on the allegations. Check out the coverage below:
Originally published December 17, 2017:
“On a daily basis, I saw that animals had died in the containers.”
A former employee has blown the whistle on all-too-familiar reports of cruel and neglectful practices at Sun Pet Ltd., a company in Atlanta that sells small animals to numerous pet stores, including PetSmart and Petco—and that PETA investigated and exposed in 2010.
The following allegations of abuse at Sun Pet, reported to PETA, come from the whistleblower.
Animals at Sun Pet were found to be sick and suffering, while others were found dead.
The whistleblower tells PETA that Sun Pet crammed dozens of animals together into tiny spaces; roughly 20 hamsters or guinea pigs would be confined to a shoebox-sized container. She often saw animals in severely crowded tubs cannibalizing one another. The insider estimated that half of the small animals at Sun Pet displayed stunted growth, malnourishment, or diseases such as wet tail, and he reported that, when a water line failed, others were seemingly deprived of water for several days before anyone noticed.
Animals suffered and died slowly because of neglect.
Many surfaces at the facility were covered with mildew and dust, and on numerous occasions, dead animals were found floating in the toilet of the decrepit employee bathroom. The device used to gas unwanted animals to death was located in the breakroom where employees were expected to eat. The container in which animals were gassed was cracked—allowing gas to leak out and causing the animals to endure a slow death.
“I observed multiple animals per day, including mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits, running loose on the floors of the facility,” the whistleblower stated, adding that some employees would kick the loose animals.
Other animals were intentionally poisoned or left to drown.
Poisons were allegedly put out for escaped animals. The insider said that she “frequently saw animals on the floors seemingly suffering the effects of these poisons, or lying dead after having been exposed to them.” She also said that the facility’s roof would often leak during storms, and on one occasion, two tubs containing hamsters were flooded. “I saw that the approximately 30 hamsters in the tubs had drowned,” she wrote.
Sun Pet should have learned its lesson years ago.
It seems that little, if anything, has changed since PETA’s exposé of Sun Pet, when an eyewitness documented the widespread suffering of thousands of animals, such as revealing that a worker bashed live hamsters against a table in an attempt to kill them. At least one of them was still alive for several minutes afterward, panting in a sealed plastic bag.
PETA sent an urgent request to the Georgia Department of Agriculture to investigate. Although the state officials first toured other parts of the large facility which were not the subject of the complaint, the inspection still confirmed that the gassing box in the employee break room was cracked, which a manager admitting to having full knowledge of. The officials ordered the company to replace the damaged chamber.
What You Can Do
Living, feeling beings aren’t things to be profited from and disposed of when they’re no longer needed. Always adopt, and shop only at retailers that refuse to sell animals. Every time that people buy animals from pet stores, they condemn other loving, healthy ones to deaths in shelters and support horror factories like Sun Pet.
Seven eyewitness investigations of animal dealers tied to Petco and/or PetSmart have revealed filthy, abusive conditions for animals. Let those companies know that you’ll shop elsewhere until they end all animal sales.