Colorado PetSmart Stores Caught Violating Animal Welfare Regulations

Chain Cited for Denying Animals Timely Veterinary Care, Failing to Meet Species-Specific Needs, and More Across the State; Stay Away, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2020

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Colorado Springs, Colo. – PETA has just obtained damning Colorado Department of Agriculture records from between January 2019 and March 2020 revealing that 16 PetSmart stores—including one in Colorado Springs and one in Monument—were cited for more than 70 violations of the state’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA), which requires the bare minimum standards of animal care.

One Colorado Springs store was cited for accepting “invalid and illegal” documents from a supplier, not having a current written agreement with a veterinarian to provide animal health services, and general disrepair—which it had been previously cited for three times. Another Colorado Springs store was found with—but not cited for—an expired veterinary agreement. The Monument store was cited for offering very small kittens for adoption without a veterinary statement indicating that they were grown and healthy enough to be adopted.

“Every PETA investigation has caught big-box pet stores’ suppliers denying basic necessities to vulnerable animals, from hamsters to turtles to birds and beyond,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA’s advice to caring consumers is to stick with stores that don’t sell live animals.”

According to the Department of Agriculture records, PetSmart stores also came under fire in Pueblo, Greeley, and Loveland as well as in Denver and eight surrounding cities. A lethargic bearded dragon who wasn’t eating was held for more than three weeks without receiving veterinary care. Staffers refused to rush an extremely sick green anole to the vet because the animal had been returned to the store, evidently by a customer, near closing time. Eight stores denied fish water of the proper temperature and pH level or reptiles adequate UVB light, sufficient heat, or water to swim in. Cats were kept in cramped cages and rooms “heavy” with a “stagnated urine smell.” Multiple stores were cited for not having written agreements with veterinarians and proper records, including for animals who had sustained injuries, were ill, or escaped during boarding and grooming.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that PetSmart also reportedly advertised grooming services in Colorado as recently as April 13, despite PACFA Program guidance stating that such services aren’t critical and should temporarily close in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind