The Horrors of Chain Pet Stores


Zack Catuogno, Reporter

If you’re a pet owner, then you probably have heard of Petsmart. It can be a reliable and convenient place to pick up pet food, supplies, and even live animals. You usually wouldn’t think twice about stopping by, you get what you need, walk past the many animals, check out, and go back to your car, and drive home, not even looking back. But you should.

For years the chain store has been coming under fire for its unethical treatment of animals, by organizations such as PETA, and even everyday consumers who have noticed something that’s off. In fact, even walking into Petco with a camera or phone out, you will be asked to put it away, due to people taking incriminating videos that make them look bad.

The sad truth is that most chain pet stores partake in awful behaviors, seeing as it saves money and time. Rather than going to the lengths of humanely treating animals, whether they’re sick or dying, they can just toss them in the back dumpster and forget about it. And most of the time this treatment is aimed towards the reptiles rather than mammals.

Not only do they sometimes display abusive behaviors towards animals in their own stores, they are also known for getting their animals from a notoriously abusive supplier, Reptiles by Mack.

Reptiles by Mack state on their official website that they put emphasis on “Keeping happy, healthy animals”, but that is clearly not the case.

They have been recorded various times committing horrific acts of abuse, animals being starved to the point of death, reptiles crammed in small containers, and some reptiles even being shipped inside of water bottles. Not only that, but there are various clips showing the lengths they will go to to make it easier for them, including breaking bearded dragons necks to kill them, and putting glue traps up to kill escaped animals.

Despite the many lawsuits and video evidence, Petsmart continues to purchase their reptiles from them. These places may seem like any other pet store, but don’t be fooled by their promises of the best, as their very animals come from a place known for abuse. When buying live animals, or even supplies, do not support Petsmart, or even Petco,( who also has a history of buying from abusive suppliers) by buying from them. Instead, buy from breeders, or known ethical pet stores. Zookeeper, an exotic reptile store in Austin is a locally owned, ethical, and overall amazing place for getting reptiles or other small animals.

You can watch the video here, showing the horrors of Reptiles by Mack, which was recorded by an insider for PETA. Please keep in mind that the contents of the video are very upsetting, and is not easy to watch.