Petco and Petsmart, Humane? Think again

From Breeding Factory to your home

You walk into a pet store, aw-ing at that adorable Pomeranian, gushing over the spotted rabbit, wanting to buy every animal and save it from its tiny cage. 

2 million puppies are bred in puppy mills and sent to commercial pet stores. However, few people realize that hamsters, rabbits, mice, and other helpless animals come from similar conditions. 




Petco, Petsmart, and Holmes Farm 

*Disturbing Images

Holmes Farm was one of Petco and Petsmart's biggest suppliers. When activists ran a three-month investigation, they found animals stacked in plastic bins, covered feces, blood and dead animals. Cats were allowed to jump into open hamster cages. One hamster was found flailing on the floor left to die, as a cat had bitten off half its body. In rabbit cages, up to four animals were found dead in one cage. 

Many of the animals died of dehydration. 

From Puppy Mill to Commercial Pet Store 

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The Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, present themselves as peaceful, moral individuals who prefer to live in privacy. However, in barns and sheds, the Amish run  abusive breeding operations. Dogs in these facilities are viewed only as 'livestock.' It's a business of margins. 

There are 300 licensed breeders in Lancaster, and 600 unlicensed. However, all can sell to commercial pet stores. It is not illegal to euthanize dogs by shooting them, nor is it illegal to keep dogs in unsanitary conditions. Breeding dogs spend their entire lives in cages, so that they do not go outside and run away.

When visiting a mill, one activist said: "When they come out of the rabbit hutches they walk like crabs because they don't know what it's like to walk on a proper surface. They drag their bodies."

De-Barking/Breaking the Vocal Chords

"The farmers, the Amish and the Mennonites, they pull the heads back and then they hammer sharp instruments down their throats to scar their vocal cords so they can't bark," an activist said. "So that way they can have 500-600 dogs in a barn and no one knows. As we said, it's an industry of secrecy." 



Buying from a Pet store

You may think to yourself, as you hear the barking Shih Tzu while picking up food for your beta fish, I need to save this dog. He's suffered, now I should give him a good life. But unfortunately, by buying a pet store animal, you may be supporting abusive mills, only allowing them to breed more pets that need saving. 

If you want to buy a pet, consider adopting from a reputable center. Or if you want a pure bred animal, visit the breeder and inspect all of the facilities carefully. 

Abigail ManginComment