Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


PETA Shareholder Resolution Calls on PetSmart to Phase Out Live-Animal Sales

Complaints About Sick Animals Left Untreated, Findings From Undercover Investigations, and Man's Death From Bird Disease Prompt Action

For Immediate Release:  December 30, 2008
Contact: Daphna Nachminovitch 757-622-7382

PETA, owner of 151 shares of PetSmart--the country's largest pet food and supplies chain with more than 1,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada--has submitted a shareholder resolution calling on the Phoenix-based company to report on the feasibility of phasing out the sale of live animals.

PETA decided to take this issue to PetSmart's investors after a PETA undercover investigation of a PetSmart store in Connecticut revealed that more than 100 small animals--including hamsters, domestic rats, lizards, chinchillas, and birds--were denied veterinary care and were not even euthanized in cases of severe suffering. The investigation also documented that PetSmart store employees who had no veterinary training or animal husbandry experience were diagnosing and treating sick and injured animals.

During a separate investigation of a Texas-based PetSmart supplier--which the company still uses--PETA found a number of abuses. Live animals, including a young cockatoo, had been thrown into the trash. An improperly anesthetized rabbit kicked and fought during surgery, and an employee used a filthy, dull razor to neuter rabbits. The investigator also found a cockatoo with a fatal wasting illness, ferrets with rectal prolapses, a guinea pig with a broken hip, and sick hamsters who were denied veterinary care.

PETA has also received a litany of similar complaints about sick and neglected animals at other PetSmart stores, including one case in which a military veteran died from psittacosis after his daughter brought home an infected cockatiel purchased from PetSmart.

"PetSmart has a track record of cruelty to animals at both the store level and the supplier level," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "Consumers care about animal welfare. As word of PetSmart's routine mistreatment of animals spreads, the company's stockholders need to get the message."

Comment:  We’ve said it time and time again – this is an industry full of suffering and cruelty.  So long as animals are regarded as property and we have the right to “own” them, there will be horrendous suffering.  At the very least, it’s time to elevate their status and give their interests the same considerations as our own.  They must be free from human domination.  Our sense of entitlement to exploit and use other creatures is unjustified.  We fully support all efforts that lead to their liberation, and are pleased that PETA is asking PetSmart to report on the feasibility of phasing out live animal sales.    


If you see something that bothers you, such as sick animals or filthy enclosures, file a complaint with the city, and contact the humane society (in BC, the SPCA) with the jurisdiction to investigate.

Read more: PetSmart's Big Suffering for Small Animals; Global Exotic Breeders hell, cruelty charges approved

Lawsuit Filed Against PetSmart and PetSmart Groomer For Loss of Puppy

The Current State of Pet Shop Laws (USA)

Canadian laws & bylaws (CFHS)