For years, PetSmart has assured PETA that sick and injured animals in its stores are provided with veterinary care when they need it. We didn't take the company's word for it. During an undercover investigation at the PetSmart store in Manchester, Connecticut—a store that has a Banfield companion animal hospital right inside it and that PetSmart boasts of as having an "outstanding pet care team" and an "exceptional pet care record"—PETA documented more than 100 small animals, including hamsters, domestic rats, lizards, chinchillas, and birds, who were deprived of veterinary care and slowly dying in the store's back room, out of customers' sight.
We alerted PetSmart's corporate headquarters to the suffering of animals at its Manchester store while our investigator was working at the store undercover. An e-mail message we sent to PetSmart executive Bruce Richardson reported that there were "animals … routinely deprived of veterinary care [who] often suffer and die as a result." The message yielded nothing but a meaningless, dishonest reply from Richardson, in which he wrote: "This particular store has an outstanding pet care team and an exceptional pet care record. No pet that has required a vet has been deprived of that service."
The following are just two examples of the many disturbing entries from the PETA investigator's daily log:
- On October 23, 2006, a hamster in cage 10 in the sick room was found dead. This was one of the hamsters that I took to the vet on October 20, 2006, due to her having wet tail and crusty eyes. [The Pet Care Manager] had brought her back to the sick room before the vet could see her and told me that … she did not need to see the vet.
- On October 26, 2006, E [a supervisor] brought out a long-haired hamster who had died in the sick room. She had been isolated on October 22 for wet tail, and the chart records showed her slow and painful death. Initially the hamster had diarrhea, but she continued to deteriorate and the night before she died the log notes stated, "eyes shut, hard, dying."
The PetSmart back room log notes document the suffering of animals who are "diagnosed" by store employees. Over a three-day period, three different supervisors—including the pet care manager—at the Manchester store wrote on a dying calico hamster's chart, "[Day 1, morning] wobbly, dehydrated, diarrhea … [Day 1, evening] very lethargic/dehydrated, regressing … [Day 2, morning] very wobbly, dehydrated … [Day 2, evening] dehydrated/getting hard, very lethargic … [Day 3, morning] dying, no meds given, can't swallow, regressed … [Day 3, evening] dead," but did not take the animal to a veterinarian even to have her put out of her misery.
The photos of some of the animals treated for diseases such as wet tail and upper respiratory infections show just how miserable they were as they languished, untreated, in PetSmart's custody.
PetSmart's billions mean nothing but penny-pinching shortcuts and misery for the little animals neglected by the company, which is clearly unwilling to or incapable of caring for animals—period. Please do not buy anything from PetSmart until it stops selling all animals. Buy your supplies online or at a store that does not sell animals.