For immediate release:
September 14, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Atlanta – Dead hamsters in 21 aviaries (and one hamster that is eaten alive), as well as gerbils unable to reach water, and animals suffering from untreated vision problems, difficulty breathing, hair loss and other problems were mentioned in a recent Ministry inspection agriculture of the United States. report by local company Sun Pet Ltd., which supplies animals to PetSmart and Petco. So PETA today sent a letter to PetSmart President and CEO J.K.Simanczyk and Petco CEO and Chairman Ron Kaflin urging them to reconsider their companies’ relationship with Sun Pet and stop selling live animals from anywhere.
“Time after time, PETA’s investigations into suppliers to the pet trading industry reveal widespread neglect, suffering and death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphne Nachminovic. “PETA urges PetSmart and Petco to end pet sales in one fell swoop and sever ties to rampant disasters at Sun Pet.”
PETA, whose motto is in part that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” is opposed to arrogance, a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information on PETA news gathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…
A copy of PETA’s letter to Simanchik follows. A similar letter from PETA to Kaflin is available upon request.
September 14, 2021
President and CEO
Dear Mr. Simanchik:
I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 9 million members and supporters around the world to share with you the latest disturbing findings of widespread suffering, neglect and filth at your longtime supplier Sun Pet Ltd.
According to an August 4 report, USDA veterinarians found Sun Pet employees were unable to treat hamsters and rabbits for puffy and crusty eyes, difficulty breathing, hair and weight loss, skin inflammation, and other problems. Federal agents found hamsters housed with dead animals in 21 enclosures – and one hamster eaten alive by other severely stressed hamsters – but workers did not even notice the “dead hamster bits” scattered around the animals’ food and bedding.
The inspectors found that 10 underweight gerbils that could not reach the water ran up the step when one was provided and “drank greedily.” The hamsters were kept in cracked open-air cages, the “green fluff” was found on the spilled stern, and the crates with the hamsters were “roughly” handled and unsecured, “swaying … in the wind.” The USDA cited Sun Pet for violating six federal rules, as hundreds – if not more – of the nearly 13,000 animals in attendance that day were affected by this apparently systemic negligence.
Widespread animal suffering at Sun Pet has been well documented, including during a 2009 PETA investigation that showed a worker hitting live hamsters on a table, and more recently when a Georgia Department of Agriculture inspection found the animals were being cracked -gas. box. Given that your purchase of pets from Sun Pet is still ongoing, we strongly urge you to reconsider whether you wish to continue to engage in such dire suffering and neglect. Anyway, what do you need to do to stop selling live animals altogether and instead promote the adoption of all animals and only sell products for them?
Thanks for your time and attention. Looking forward to your reply.
Senior vice president
Abuse Investigation Department