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Pet Stores (Amy)

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Pet Stores (Amy)

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:14 am

*See bottom of post for author & source*

Hello everyone. As you may know, we are a very rescue friendly site. We do not promote or encourage breeding in any way. For my college comp class, we were instructed to compose a research paper. I wrote about pet stores, breeding and all of the problems associated. I would like to post my paper so that everyone can understand why adopting is truly the way to go. This paper also includes the sites and sources in MLA format.

Animal Cruelty: There is no debate


“God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.”

-Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien

By definition, cruelty is referred to as a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering, feelings of extreme heartlessness and the quality of being cruel and causing tension and annoyance (“Cruelty” par 5, definitions 2-3). Although society frowns upon cruelty to humans, often a blind eye is turned when cruelty to animals enters the scene. In 2008, nearly 100 cases of animal cruelty occurred in California alone. Some of these cases include shooting, beating, stabbing and even strangulation (“Yearly Animal Abuse Report” par.3). In figure 1, animal abuse in the state of Pennsylvania is shown and is absolutely astounding. This graph also includes cases of beating, stabbing and shooting. Animal abuse occurs in many ways, some of which are not even recognized, such as pet store abuse, mill abuse and breeding abuse. It is a wonder that there is such a simple solution to end the animal abuse cycle, but it has yet to be put into practice.



A safe haven. A future. A loving new family. These images are often associated with pet stores such as PetSmart, PetCo and Petland. Unfortunately, these lovely scenes are not reality but rather fanciful clouds that mask the truth. PetSmart is just one of the many chain pet stores that does not provide proper care for the animals they purchase for re-sale. Why is this? Do these animals not deserve proper health care, housing and food? Why should they be forced to resort to cannibalism on their dead cage mates? Sadly, there are no reasonable answers for any of these questions. The only response that could possibly exist is that pet stores do not see these creatures as living, breathing beings but rather as disposable merchandise kept on hand for impulse buyers (“What’s Wrong with PetSmart?” par.1-2). People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, more commonly known as PETA, performed an undercover investigation of one PetSmart facility in Manchester, Connecticut. PETA decided to execute an investigation, after many years of assurance that the facilities were up to par. Contrary to the guarantee that Pet Smart offered, conditions were horrific to say the least. Roughly 100 small animals were left for dead in the stores back room seeking no medical treatment despite Pet Smarts Banfield clinic being only seconds away (“PetSmart Store Investigation” par.1).

As PETA’s investigation continued, many of the investigators kept logs of shocking events that took place. A bone-chilling entry was made on October 23, 2006 in one investigators daily log. The entry stated:

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. (“PetSmart Store Investigation” par.4)


The hamster in figure 2 is only one of the many that died while in the care of PetSmart. Other animals, such as birds, fish, guinea pigs and rats, have all suffered similar fates.



PetSmart is not the only store that can be crucified for the treatment of animals, Petland also decided to join the train of animal abuse and neglect. Some feel that Petland is even worse than any other chain pet store because they utilize breeders to obtain dogs that will be sold in stores. April 2000 is one of the most crucial times in Petland cruelty. NBC’s Dateline did an exposition story on puppy mills, and they just so happened to visit a “private-breeding” facility which was used for Petland. How bad could private breeding possibly be? The first facility contained roughly 500 dogs all caged and “supplied” with maggot-infested food. Many were sick and even wounded. Figure 3 shows one puppy mill back-breeding dog, a dog that is bred repeatedly without breaks, that was severely emaciated at its time of rescue. NBC also had the opportunity to speak with a former Petland supplier who drove trucks for the store. The driver stated that he was once instructed by a Petland breeder to take a sick puppy and dispose of it in a trash burner. It is beneficial to remember, these breeders supply Petland’s dogs, and with each purchase of a dog from Petland, the purchaser is supporting the continuation of breeders (“Boycott Petland” par.15-18). With every purchase, the never ending breeding mill-pet store cycle, presented in figure 4, continues to manifest.





In addition to insufficient care, Petland breeders do not even properly house the animals they are breeding. The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, states that if an animal’s back is touching the rear of the cage, it must have at least six inches in front of its nose. Sadly, these breeders have violated this law and do not even provide that small amount of room required (“Violations of USDA regulations by PetLand Breeders” par.6-15). During an investigation into a report of poor animal conditions, one of the USDA investigators reported:

July 30, 2004: "Several boxers were found with skin problems... Hair loss was noted on female #594 and #580, tag gone off adult breeding male. One dog was observed scratching. A dog in an adjacent pen also appeared to be affected...No medical records were available on these dogs. Outside the pen was noted a dead adult female, covered with a feed sack... This dog appeared very thin…Also, a returned boxer pup in broker area was observed with severe skin lesions of hair loss and areas of inflammation especially over its head as well as having a yellow discharge around both eyes. XX were instructed to take this pup to a veterinarian for examination by COB the day of this inspection…Medical records must be kept on dogs with vet care issues. (“Violations of USDA regulations by PetLand Breeders” par.15)


Despite Petland being the worst of the three chain stores to be mentioned, PetCo is a close second. In San Diego, a civil case was brought against PetCo due to inappropriate animal care, poor cage conditions, and untreated animals. Also, the suit claimed that price scanners were overcharging items anywhere between the ranges of $0.03 to $0.00. Thankfully, parts of California took action against PetCo and banned the sales of small animals due to the neglect that was seen in various PetCo stores (“Animal Abuse Case Details” par.3). Despite San Francisco, California took action, nearly 27 other states still experience various problems with pet care presented at PetCo stores such as spiders in bird cages, fish being removed from tanks and killed inhumanely so they could be fed to turtles, salt water tanks being filled with fresh water which resulted in the death of fish, small animals born at the store and released outside, and worst of all, an employee was seen laughing while sucking up a pair of Parakeets in a vacuum and still kept his job! Even though the San Diego lawsuit resulted in a $900,000 fine to PetCo, obviously they have learned nothing and continue this poor treatment at other facilities (“Animal Abuse Case Details” par.20).

So how can this problem be fixed? How can the prevention of pet stores from treating animals so horribly take place? How can a never ending cycle stop? The answers to these questions are simple. Those who would like to own a pet should adopt rather than purchase one. There are many pets in shelters and rescues waiting to be taken into a loving home. Most come from people who bought these animals on impulse buys or found that they were sick after the purchase and did not “feel” like supplying proper care. The animals in shelters are not defective goods, they are living creatures waiting to enter into someone’s life and finally be appreciated. By adopting from a shelter or rescue, there is no funding of pet stores and no allowance for them to purchase more animals from breeders who do not provide proper care. Many do not know that dogs and cats are not the only animals in rescues. Petfinder.com, an online website listing 299,590 adoptable pets in 12,184 shelters and rescues, lists dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, ferrets and even hamsters that are waiting for loving homes (Petfinder.com Heading).

In conclusion, all must realize that animals do not have voices. They cannot speak up and tell the world all of the horrible treatment they are receiving. They cannot ask for help or tell others when they are sick or suffering. The public must be their voices and speak up for those who cannot. Each person must take the initiative to inspect local pet stores on every visit and report any unsightly conditions or ill animals. It is unrealistic to believe that pet stores will one day be eradicated, but supplying knowledge and facts as well as informing people about the cruelty presented by pet stores is one small step taken to deteriorate their success.

Work Cited


"Animal Abuse Case Details." Pet-Abuse.com. 2001-2008. 22 October 2008 <http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/2373/>.

“Cruelty.” Dictionary.com. 2008. 2008 October 2008
<http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cruelty?o=0>.

"Boycott Petland." Petstorecruelty.org. 22 October 2008 <http://www.petstorecruelty.org/boycottpetland.htm>.

Petfinder.com. 2008. Discovery Company. 22 October 2008 <www.petfinder.com>.

"PetSmart Store Investigation." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. 2006-2007. 22 October 2008 <http://www.petsmartcruelty.com/investigation_manchester.asp>.

" Violations of USDA regulations by Pet Land Breeders." Petstorecruelty.org 12 October 2008
< http://www.petstorecruelty.org/USDA%20Violations%20by%20Petland%20breeders.htm >.

"Whats Wrong with Pet Smart?" People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. 22 October 2008 <http://www.petsmartcruelty.com/whats_wrong.asp>.

"Yearly Animal Abuse Report." Pet-Abuse.com. 2008. 22 October 2008 <http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/cruelty_database/statistics/yearly_animal_abuse_report.php?state=CA&year=2008&search=go>.

WRITTEN BY - Amy
SOURCE - Cavy Galore Forums
http://www.cavygalore.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=information

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