Criminal Probe Sought Into Suffering and Death at Massive Animal Mill

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Atlanta – A recent federal inspection report of Sun Pet Ltd.—a massive locally based animal mill—reveals animal suffering and neglect in apparent violation of state law. This morning, PETA sent a letter to Fulton County Solicitor General Keith E. Gammage asking him to investigate the PetSmart and Petco animal supplier and file appropriate criminal charges against those responsible.

The August 4 report from the facility, which housed nearly 13,000 animals during the inspection, describes how one hamster was eaten alive by other severely stressed hamsters, and workers didn’t notice that “pieces of deceased hamster” were scattered throughout the animals’ food and bedding. Workers failed to treat hamsters and a rabbit for swollen and crusted eyes, labored breathing, hair and weight loss, inflamed skin, and other painful conditions; failed to provide gerbils with adequate water; and roughly handled boxes containing hamsters.

“More animals are in danger of dying of thirst, of injuries, and in other grisly ways as long as the carelessness and callousness at Sun Pet go unchecked,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is asking officials to hold the company responsible for severely neglecting animals.”

PETA notes that federal veterinarians’ findings at Sun Pet appear to violate O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4, which prohibits subjecting an animal to “physical pain, suffering, or death … by any unjustifiable … omission” or “fail[ing] to provide [an] animal adequate … water [or] sanitary conditions.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s letter to Gammage is available here. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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