Nashville Officials Execute Warrant at PetSmart Following PETA Investigation

Authorities Search Store After Exposé Reveals Failure to Provide Needed Veterinary Care, Animals With Contagious Diseases, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Nashville, Tenn.

After PETA provided law-enforcement officials with video footage and photographs of systemic neglect and animal suffering documented by someone who worked at the PetSmart location on Sawyer Brown Road as part of an investigation into practices at three PetSmart, Inc., stores across the country, Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control executed a search warrant at the store this morning and has now opened a criminal investigation.

Managers at the Nashville store were observed repeatedly refusing to provide sick, injured, and dying animals with veterinary care in order to “keep costs down” so that they would receive bonuses. The small mammals involved included a guinea pig who suffered from an abscessed wound on his back, dehydration, and painful gastrointestinal stasis; a guinea pig whose abscessed knee joint spread infection to his heart, brain, and elsewhere; and a mouse who languished for more than a month with an inflamed eye and an apparent respiratory infection before dying without having received any veterinary care.

PETA’s investigation—which also included stores in Brandon, Florida, and Peoria, Arizona—reveals that PetSmart, which makes $7 billion in annual revenue, is stocking animals with diseases, such as ringworm and coccidiosis, that are transmissible to humans, including children, and that it didn’t schedule staff to care for, feed, or water animals over Thanksgiving and Christmas, despite many being sick and in need of medication.

“Authorities acted quickly after learning that these sick, neglected animals were being left to endure slow, miserable deaths at PetSmart,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges consumers never to buy anything from PetSmart until it stops selling animals and sells only supplies.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—also recorded a Nashville supervisor instructing staff not to tell customers that PetSmart buys animals from Sun Pet, Ltd., a massive Atlanta warehouse that was put on probation by the Georgia Department of Agriculture following a PETA investigation in 2010.

Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s nationwide investigation is available here. For more information, please visit

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