New Investigation Reveals Serious Neglect and Suffering at Brandon PetSmart

PETA's Multi-State Exposé Reveals Lack of Veterinary Care, Drawn-Out Deaths, Animals With Contagious Diseases, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Brandon, Fla. – PETA has provided law-enforcement officials with disturbing video footage and photographs of the sometimes fatal neglect of animals that was documented by an eyewitness who worked at the PetSmart, Inc., store on Causeway Boulevard as part of an investigation of three of the company’s stores across the country. The findings of the investigation—which also included PetSmart locations in Peoria, Arizona, and Nashville, Tennessee—prompted authorities to execute a search warrant at the Nashville store this morning.

Despite having ample notice of its threat, managers at the Brandon store failed to evacuate animals during Hurricane Irma, and workers returned four days later to find that several animals had escaped, others had died, and approximately 30 small mammals were without water. Workers also deprived a critically ill bird of veterinary care for at least five days as the animal starved, suffered from dehydration, and slowly died. A store manager admitted that “every single one” of PetSmart’s animals came from “terrible” “pet mills” and that PetSmart is “a horrible place for animals.”

The investigation also revealed that PetSmart stocked animals with diseases, such as ringworm and coccidiosis, that are transmissible to humans, including children, and that it failed to schedule staff to care for, feed, and water animals over Thanksgiving and Christmas, despite having an annual revenue of $7 billion.

“This evidence of sick and injured animals being denied critical veterinary care and enduring slow and miserable deaths is why consumers should never buy anything from PetSmart until it stops selling animals and switches to selling only supplies,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges Hillsborough County authorities to follow Nashville officials’ lead and move swiftly to investigate and hold accountable any PetSmart worker who’s neglected animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has released seven exposés revealing the abusive conditions endured by animals bred for sale at big-box pet store chains. 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 PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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