Wilmington PetSmart Store Caught Violating State Animal Welfare Regulations

Dirty Litter Pans Were Found in Uncleaned Cages; Stay Away, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
May 27, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilmington, N.C. – PETA has reviewed damning North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) records from between June 2018 and February 2020 that reveal that 20 PetSmart stores in the state—including one in Wilmington—were ordered to improve conditions for animals in order to comply with the state’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In February 2019, an NCDA&CS inspector “immediately” smelled “dirty litter pans” upon entering the store on New Centre Drive at 1:50 p.m. and noted that cages containing six cats had yet to be cleaned that day.

“Any person who takes care of animals is required to provide them with clean living conditions, veterinary care, 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, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Wilkesboro, Burlington, Lexington, and eight other cities across the state. According to the records, cats in multiple stores were caged with filthy litter boxes, seemingly sick and sneezing cats were found on display in four 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 nine stores were told to improve their recordkeeping for animals offered for adoption. A Charlotte store was also assessed a $500 penalty for failing to provide veterinary care to Beethoven, a dog who developed a painful, inflamed scrotum while being boarded at its 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, like PetSmart, 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.

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