State Confirms Insider’s Report of Cracked Gassing Box at Sun Pet, Ltd.

Whistleblower Account of Faulty Gas Box, Dead Animals in the Toilet at Petco and PetSmart Supplier Prompts PETA Complaint, State Inspection

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2017

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Atlanta – On the heels of a whistleblower’s allegations of unsanitary conditions, abuse, and neglect at Sun Pet, Ltd.—an Atlanta facility that supplies small animals, such as hamsters, mice, and guinea pigs, to numerous Petco and PetSmart locations, among other retailers across the U.S.—and PETA’s subsequent request, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) inspected the facility on November 30.

The agency corroborated the whistleblower’s account of a cracked gas box in the employee break room used to kill sick and injured animals. The crack, which the manager admitted to knowing about, would have likely caused animals to suffer and die slowly and allowed gas to seep into the area where staff members ate lunch, according to the whistleblower. The state ordered Sun Pet, Ltd., to stop using the box. On November 21, PETA shared with the GDA the whistleblower’s account, which states that workers kicked animals, set out poisons for them, and kept the stressed animals in severely crowded bins, leading to cannibalization—and that dead animals would sometimes be found floating in the toilet. (See video.)

“Reports of a cracked animal gas box in the break room and animals floating in the toilet once again pulls back the curtain on the suffering inherent in the pet-trade supply chain,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Accounts like this are exactly why PETA urges everyone to steer clear of Petco, PetSmart, and any other store that sells live animals.”

In 2010, the GDA fined Sun Pet, Ltd., $3,000 and put the facility on probation for two years after a PETA investigation revealed that employees were violently killing and abusively handling hundreds of animals, including in one incident when a worker put live hamsters inside a bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” The group’s letter to the GDA is available upon request, and the inspection reports can be found here and here.

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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