This week, PETA released never-before-seen footage from our three-month investigation of Sun Pet Ltd.—an Atlanta-based supplier of small mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and other animals to stores nationwide, including PETCO and PetSmart. In the shocking video, a Sun Pet worker is seen slamming hamsters against a table in an attempt to kill them—evidently because they were deemed unsalable. At least one of the hamsters was still alive for several minutes afterward, panting in the sealed plastic bag.
Not surprisingly, Sun Pet has released a video of its own, showing conditions for the animals at its Atlanta small-animal breeding farm. It doesn’t look all that great to us.
Thank you, Sun Pet, for helping PETA show the world the sort of hellish warehouses that PETCO and PetSmart’s animals come from! We are not quite sure which part is supposed to serve as a response to PETA’s allegations. Is it the footage of the animals who were crammed into pitch-black, tomb-like bins and wire cages; the footage of the animals who were being packed up for shipping as if they were inanimate objects; the footage of the chinchilla cages that the Georgia Department of Agriculture last month found to be in violation of the law; the footage of the fecal matter that was all over the small animals’ bedding; or the footage of the rabbits who were being kept in tiny, barren wire cages with no bedding to protect their tender feet?
In its written response to PETA’s video, Sun Pet says that it has dismissed the employee in the video. That’s a start—but it’s not enough. The manager who approved of the hamster-bashing is apparently still punching the clock down at Sun Pet. That’s the same manager who said that one could throw mice against a wall and suggested that PETA’s investigator expose small animals’ testicles by poking and prodding away at their abdomens as if they were PlayStation controllers.
Every employee who abused animals at Sun Pet should be fired and prosecuted—something that Sun Pet vice president and general manager Barry Wisebram said in an interview that he would “make sure” happened. PETA sent a letter to Wisebram yesterday asking him to stick to his word. (He’s apparently been too busy taking reporters on tours around his spruced-up warehouses, crafting misleading media statements, and making cameos in the video to do what’s right for the hundreds of thousands of animals in his care—or even to get back to us.)
Oh, and one more thing: In Sun Pet’s written response, the company asks for “suggestions or information that would help us.”
We think that’s a great idea. Please take a few minutes to contact Wisebram and politely suggest that it’s time for the company to get out of the animal business altogether:
Sun Pet Ltd.
3765 Zip Industrial Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30354
Written by Paula Moore