We’re not members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but we do moniter the organization’s acitivities and positions because they offer a view that is worth paying attention to. PETA’s latest campaign is to get PetSmart, the naitonal pet food retailer from offering live pets for sale in its stores.

PETA’s investigation that led to its current campaign included one aspect that caught our attention.  In December 2006, PetSmart sent its store managers a warming about a salmonella outbreak it was experiencing.   Cllick on the blue box for a readable version of the memo sent to PetSmart store managers.  The company never put out a news release to let the public or their customers know about this little problem.

So, PETA’s campaign does get our attention.  Here’s what they are up to:

"PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization and owner of 110 shares of PetSmart stock, has submitted a shareholder resolution to the Phoenix-based pet store chain calling on the company to resolve the inadequate and improper care of sick and injured animals in its stores. PETA’s proposal was prompted by the dozens of complaints that the group receives every year from PetSmart customers and employees about animals’ untreated illnesses and injuries, severe crowding, and deplorable conditions. PETA’s own undercover investigation of two PetSmart stores–including one in Scottsdale–confirmed substandard conditions.


"PETA’s investigator documented that more than 100 small animals–including hamsters, domestic rats, lizards, chinchillas, and birds–were deprived of needed veterinary care, including humane euthanasia. This comes despite assurances from PetSmart executive Bruce Richardson to PETA that "[n]o pet that has required a vet has been deprived of that service." PETA’s investigator documented PetSmart store employees who had no veterinary training or animal husbandry experience diagnosing and "treating" sick and injured animals who were concealed in crowded back rooms. Over a three-day period, three different supervisors failed to take action to treat a dying hamster and instead logged notes about the animal’s worsening condition until the hamster finally died.

"The pet-trade industry is notorious for cutting corners and putting animals at the bottom of the list, and PetSmart is no exception," says PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch. "As word spreads about what really goes on behind closed doors in PetSmart’s back rooms, chances increase that stockholders will pay the price in the form of diminished returns.

For more information, contact PETA ‘s Daphna Nachminovitch 757-622-7382.  Or go here.