Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


PETCO Leaves Animals to Drown in Flood

September 13, 2011 PETA

PETA is calling for a criminal investigation and appropriate charges after PETCO left hundreds of caged animals to die in its Johnson City, New York, store in massive flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee.

Despite highly publicized flood warnings and a mandatory evacuation order from the town's mayor, PETCO's vice president of animal care (a misnomer if we ever heard one), Marcie Whichard, had the nerve to call the flooding "completely unpredictable" and admitted that "the decision was made to keep the animals in the store."  Hundreds of birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, mice, reptiles, and other animals were abandoned, forced to try to keep their heads above water as floodwaters rose. Nearly 100 animals died. One can only imagine the terror and suffering that these animals experienced, all because PETCO—a multibillion-dollar company—could not be bothered to make provisions for them.

This is not the first time that animals have suffered and died at PETCO's hands. The company has a history of chronic animal-welfare problems, including buying the animals it sells from massive mills that warehouse animals in filthy, severely crowded conditions; withhold veterinary care from sick, starving, and injured animals; throw live animals into the trash; and much, much more.

Please help obtain justice for the animals PETCO abandoned to drown by politely urging Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen to launch a criminal investigation into PETCO's actions. Call his office at 607-778-2423 or e-mail him at gmollen@co.broome.ny.us. And please never buy animals or anything from stores like PETCO that see animals as nothing more than a way to make money.  

Comment: Please take the time to send a short note to the DA, Johnson City officials, and to PETCO. Let CEO James Myers know what you think of its despicable and egregious lack of action to protect these little critters, who were left terrified and suffering, when they should have been removed to safety. There were highly publicized flood and evacuation warnings and “for them not to go down there is just absolutely disgusting,” said Mayor Dennis Hannon.

PETCO, like others in the pet industry, views its animals as mere products and will do anything to prevent the bottom line from being affected. I’m sure an insurance claim will be filed so the company can be compensated for its “loss.” As consumers, we have a choice on where to shop. Boycotts are extremely effective in giving corporations a strong message.  Use your power in speaking for the vulnerable and voiceless creatures.