Dillon Petco Store Cited for Animal Welfare Violations

Officials Cite Notorious Chain Throughout the State for Animal Neglect, Filth, Poor Recordkeeping, and More

For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Dillon, Colo.

PETA has just obtained damning Colorado Department of Agriculture records from between January and July 2019 revealing that 12 Petco stores—including the store in Dillon—were hit with more than 80 violations of the state’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) Program, which requires the bare minimum standards of animal care. The Dillon store’s written agreement with a licensed veterinarian had been expired for four months, and it lacked proof of veterinary examinations of animals imported from other states—including a certificate for conures it had evidently held for more than one year.

Petco stores also came under fire in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and the Denver area. At one outlet in Northglenn, workers failed to provide a thin leopard gecko with veterinary treatment over nine days. The animal lay motionless for at least two days before dying. No veterinary care was provided for a ferret with a prolapsed rectum—a painful condition—and a suspected upper respiratory infection. That animal also died, purportedly as a manager finally drove the ferret to care. PETA has asked the Northglenn Police Department to investigate the store for criminal cruelty to animals.

“Petco’s jaw-dropping litany of violations reveals a culture of callousness, indifference, and inaction in which the animals pay the ultimate price,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on caring people to avoid any Petco store until the chain pledges to stop selling live animals and stop letting others die in cages and tanks.”

In addition, Petco locations were cited for failing to clean and sanitize bathtubs, having rusted doors with dangerously sharp edges, and having “a strong mildew smell,” among other violations. An assistant manager at one store acknowledged that “sewage had leaked into” the wall of a grooming room, leaving a hole. Reptiles were housed in enclosures that were up to 20 degrees too cold, and an “excessive amount” of dead fish and a “large amount of feces” were found in two stores. Many stores also lacked essential documentation.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that the PACFA Program is one of the strongest efforts to regulate pet stores in the country and that if other states joined Colorado in this progressive program, suffering in Petco’s stores and at its suppliers would go undiscovered less often.

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

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