Earlier this week while scrolling through Twitter, something very shocking caught my eye. I’ve been following PETA’s Twitter account for some time now and I will admit, sometimes their posts are a bit much. I do eat meat so it is a little awkward when I see articles come up about how many turkeys are going to be killed this Thanksgiving. But this post in particular really got my attention. It was an article showing the process of how chain pet stores, such as Petsmart receive their reptiles and exotic pets. As a chameleon pet owner, I like to be informed on exotic pet news and how to give the best care to my little lizard. But after reading the article and seeing the video on how these exotic pets are brought to our local pet store, I was in shock.
Reptiles such as lizards, turtles, and other types of creatures are crammed into dirty, crowded plastic containers and are left to survive with little or no food and water for weeks. Because these animals are in such terrible conditions they often face serious health conditions that cause them to either become so dehydrated and die, or face such serious problems that make them no longer sellable so the mill workers kill them themselves by freezing or gassing them alive. Reptiles by Mack, the leading reptile mill that sells to pet stores across the country, including PetSmart, is where PETA sent investigators to dig deeper into these horrific acts. PETA eyewitnesses documented these acts for a 15 week period. According to the witnesses, the animals where sent in anything that would hold them such as milk jugs, Liter bottles, and crates and also contained as many animals as possible. Conditions like these without proper food and water caused many animals to die before even arriving at the destination. Sadly, when they arrive at the pet stores, the conditions don’t improve much more either. This is why a lot of reptiles have a short life span and are easily prone to health problems.
This isn’t the first time PetSmart has been exposed for animal abuse. In 2006 PETA did another undercover search and proved PetSmart does not give proper veterinary care to their animals as they claim; but instead leaves hamsters, lizards, chinchillas, and birds to slowly die hidden away in PetSmart’s back rooms, out of customers’ sight.
As a exotic pet owner I understand how much specific care they need. The cage, temperature, lighting, moisture level and everything else have to be just right for a chameleon to have a happy living area. Now knowing that chameleons and other animals are not receiving the adequate care they need to survive, something needs to be done about pet stores and these pet mills. I hope this post inspires you to do some research about the subject and do your part to make a difference.