Wilkesboro PetSmart Store Repeatedly Warned About Animal Welfare Law

Inspection Finds Apparently Sick and Sneezing Cats; Stay Away, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilkesboro, N.C.

PETA has reviewed damning North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) records from between June 2018 and February 2020 revealing that 20 PetSmart stores in the state—including one in Wilkesboro—were ordered to improve conditions for animals in order to comply with the state’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

In July 2018, an NCDA&CS inspector at the store on Winkler Mill Road observed a cat on display sneezing—and in January 2019, another cat had “draining eyes” and “nasal secretions,” with some mucus evident on the front of the cage. During that visit, the inspector also noted a buildup of litter and kibble on the floor and suggested a “deep cleaning.” In July 2019, the inspector noted that approximately half the records viewed for animals adopted from the facility lacked proof of vaccination.

“Any person who takes care of animals is required to provide them with veterinary care, clean living conditions, and other basic necessities, and a billion-dollar company shouldn’t consider itself above the law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA regularly receives reports of suffering animals for sale at big-box stores, and our advice to caring consumers is to stick with stores that don’t sell live animals.”

The NCDA&CS records reveal that PetSmart stores also came under fire in Fayetteville, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Burlington, Lexington, and eight other cities across the state. According to the records, cats were caged with filthy litter boxes, seemingly sick and sneezing cats were found on display in three other stores, an agent who inspected one store at 12:50 p.m. found that the cats there had yet to be fed that day, and eight other stores were told to improve their recordkeeping for animals offered for adoption. The Charlotte store was also assessed a $500 penalty for failing to supply veterinary care to Beethoven, a dog who developed a painful, inflamed scrotum while being boarded at the store’s kennel.

The NCDA&CS also cited the PetSmart store near Asheboro for at least 23 violations of the AWA and warned that further violations may result in penalties of up to $5,000 per violation and action against its license to operate.

Online stores that aren’t affiliated with chains that sell animals include Target, PetFlow, and Wag.com.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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