Results have been released in an investigation by the USDA into the Holmes Chinchilla Ranch — which supplies animals to large pet store chains — and the findings are appalling.
The facility near Philadelphia supplied hamsters, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits and other small animals to retail giants PetSmart and Petco.
Investigators discovered hundreds of dead animals on the premises, some of whom had been frozen alive. Many other animals were in dire need of medical care. The intense investigation continued for days, as more and more revelations came to light.
The report is said to list “at least 117 violations of 14 different federal laws, including 36 animals in need of veterinary care, decomposing animals in bins with live animals, a free-roaming cat near guinea pig bins, an ammonia stench so strong that it burned federal agents’ eyes and noses, and statements by Holmes staff that they had learned to kill unwanted animals ‘on the internet.’”
Although the owners of the facility say they’re complying with federal officials to clean up their mess, there will likely be repercussions — a fine or loss of license is possible.
Petco said it ceased doing business with this supplier in January, when an undercover video emerged of the horrific conditions, which sparked the federal investigation. However, for several months PetSmart wouldn’t comment, and an employee with Holmes Chinchilla Ranch claimed PetSmart remained a customer.
Recently, PetSmart’s Facebook page was swarmed with angry comments from customers, who demanded to know why the company was still doing business with this awful animal mill. Those comments were met with silence by PetSmart.
Finally, during the evening of May 25, PetSmart announced that it had severed ties with Holmes Chinchilla Ranch, according to The Associated Press. The question now is, why did that take so long?
PetSmart owns the websites Pet360.com, PetMD.com, Pet Food Direct and BlogPaws, though these websites are run independently of PetSmart.
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