WARNING: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MAY BE VERY HARD FOR SOME TO READ
After a 15-week investigation by PETA, on April 14th, it was revealed that PetSmart, a pet and supply retailer, has a supplier that had been gassing animals and putting them in plastic bags “to die and waste away,” in the words of the supplier’s supervisor.
Small animals were put into bins, while rodents were stuffed into bags and frozen to be warehoused. PETA also believes that some animals had been attacked by cats. PETA supporters along with other animal rights activists protested outside of a PetSmart in Los Angeles, California. Their signs had sayings such as “Animals left to die at PetSmart suppliers,” and “Don’t buy while animals die.” Alongside them-well more so below them-was Courtney Stodden, a 21 year old singer and reality T.V. show contestant.
She lay down on the sidewalk dressed as a “sweet mouse” (according to PETA’s website) drenched in fake blood. The starlet’s input was as follows: “Hopefully this protest against PetSmart will get them to SMARTen’ up” (Caption from an Instagram post) and “The suppliers that they get their animals from abuse,neglect [and] torture these innocent lives. Yet, PetSmart continues to ignore the cruel truth. It’s time for a change.
Don’t buy while animals die! @peta #animalrights.” (Continuation of caption from Instagram) The supplier, Holmes Farm, is now under federal investigation after being investigated by PETA. Two other pet retail stores, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus, are believed to have been getting animals from the supplier in question. In fact, Petco claimed on January 19th, 2016 to have severed all ties with the Holmes Farm.
According to PETA’s website, there were eyewitnesses from the organization who saw “hamsters running in constant circles,” which is a sign of severe illness or severe stress. These animals were kept in a room with an overwhelming scent of feces and urine and blood spatters on the floors. If animals were lucky, they would get about a square foot of living space, but most had a mere six inches to live in.
In addition to the Holmes Farm issues, there was a charge of felony animal abuse filed against a PetSmart groomer, Juan Zarate, in San Mateo, California. After a one year old dachshund died in his care, San Mateo police arrested the groomer. The dog, Henry, was reportedly bleeding from his mouth and was having a hard time bleeding. An X-ray showed a punctured lung and two broken ribs in the dog. The dog was brought to the San Mateo PetSmart with no injuries, leading to the arrest of Zarate. Henry later died.
It is believed that all of this harm was caused to the helpless dachshund within a frame of only three minutes in Zarate’s care. PetSmart said they are working with local authorities to ensure that it was in fact Zarate who had caused the injuries and death of the year old dog. After this, who would even consider going to PetSmart?