Uncovers Horrors at PetSmart Supplier's Breeding Mill
Video footage obtained in
a new PETA undercover investigation reveals horrific nightmare conditions for
small animals and birds bred and brokered by a major supplier to PetSmart. (PETA.org
In addition to the
ever-present misery caused by extremely crowded cages, filthy conditions, a lack
of basic enrichment, an often inadequate food and water supply, and excessive
noise, PETA's investigation of a massive breeding mill and one of PetSmart's
main animal suppliers, Rainbow World Exotics in Hamilton, Texas, also revealed
that live animals were thrown into the trash, were deprived of desperately
needed veterinary care, were suffering and dying alone in their cages, and were
cannibalizing each other; that rabbits underwent crude neuter surgeries at the
hands of a layperson in a filthy, dark room; and more.
customers have reported buying unsocialized, sick, and injured animals,
including guinea pigs with eye and upper respiratory infections, hamsters with
deadly diseases, sick and dying betta fish, and suffering birds. As PETA's
investigator documented at this breeding mill, overcrowding, lack of veterinary
care, and lack of socialization are the norm, not the exception, for the tens of
thousands of animals at Rainbow.
PetSmart's trade in live
animals supports this mass-breeding industry that is just as cruel as—and even
less regulated than—the puppy mill industry. It results in abysmal treatment of
tiny, vulnerable beings, and it ultimately leads to their overpopulation,
homelessness, neglect, and suffering.
Rabbits bound for PetSmart underwent neuter
surgeries at the ungloved, unsanitized hands of an employee (who was not a
veterinarian) in a dank and dirty room with an often-contaminated, dull straight
razor. PETA's investigator witnessed an improperly anesthetized rabbit kick and
fight during surgery. The employee "prepped" rabbits' scrotums with Purell Hand
Sanitizer and wiped blood off fresh, open incisions with Clorox Disinfecting
Wipes, which was deemed "completely inappropriate and dangerous" by a veterinary
expert who reviewed footage of the procedure.
Hamsters and other small animals often escaped
unsafe enclosures. PETA's investigator filmed a supervisor "catching" a loose
hamster by stepping on the tiny animal with his heavy boot and pinning the
animal to the ground. The supervisor then "squished" the hamster with his hand
and threw the animal—who may have still been alive—into the trash. During the
course of her employment, PETA's investigator rescued five hamsters who had been
thrown away like garbage.
Live animals including rats, mice, and
hamsters were routinely dumped into trash barrels while employees were emptying
dirty bedding. Some employees purposely tossed live animals straight into the
trash, sometimes from as far as 8 feet away, and other employees forcefully
threw small animals on the cement floor in an attempt to kill them. PETA's
investigator was told that employees sometimes threw live animals away if they
didn't want to have to bother figuring out to which cage they should return the
Young parrots and cockatoos in the breeding
mill's bird "nursery" were deprived of adequate veterinary care even when they
were severely ill or injured. The investigator found a young cockatoo in
the trash, documented a huddled-together group of baby conures with foot
injuries, and watched a juvenile Goffin's cockatoo waste away and die after a
long, undiagnosed and untreated illness.
Many animals were denied veterinary care,
including ferrets with rectal prolapses, a guinea pig with a broken hip,
hamsters with potentially deadly wet tail, and animals injured in fights with
cagemates. In fact, in her more than two months of employment, PETA's
investigator never saw a veterinarian visit the facility!
find out the sex of young birds, an employee obtained blood for DNA testing by
clipping the birds' nails over and over until the birds screamed, an indicator
that the employee had reached the sensitive quick, which caused pain and
bleeding. This archaic, cruel method is no longer used by veterinarians to
collect routine blood samples from birds, especially not when the birds are
young and still learning to use their feet.
Store Leaves Lizards to Rot in Back Room
to a whistleblower, two bearded dragons languished in the back room of a
store for six months, apparently suffering from improperly treated eye
infections that spread to their jaws and caused their faces to rot away.
from PETA, the store's manager finally took the bearded dragons to a
veterinarian who put them out of their misery, but untold numbers of other
animals are likely languishing in PetSmart stores and its suppliers' warehouses
across the country. PETA's undercover investigations have shown time after time
that this kind of cruelty is business as usual for PetSmart and its suppliers.
revealed horrors at Rainbow World Exotics, one of PetSmart's main animal
suppliers, including throwing live animals into the trash, depriving animals
of desperately needed veterinary care, and leaving them to cannibalize each
other, suffer, and die alone in their cages.
- At Sun
Pet, another PetSmart supplier, an employee—who has since been fired—placed
hamsters in a bag and bashed it against a table in an attempt to kill them.
- Animals at
the now-defunct U.S. Global Exotics, Inc., which supplied exotic animals to
PetSmart, were crammed into severely crowded and filthy containers,
including soda bottles and milk jugs, litter pans, cattle-feeding troughs,
and barren wire cages. Hundreds of animals were denied basic necessities,
such as food, water, and veterinary care.
- And PETA's
undercover investigation of a PetSmart store Manchester, Connecticut,
documented that more than 100 animals—including hamsters, rats, lizards,
chinchillas, and birds—were deprived of adequate veterinary care and just
left to die slowly, hidden from customers' sight. PetSmart boasted that this
store had an "outstanding pet care team" and an "exceptional pet care
a strong stand against animal cruelty and help change our culture to one where
animals are valued for themselves alone. We cannot tolerate this anymore.
Dismantle the systemic oppression and abuses that exist toward all creatures.
Rise up, people!
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