Thursday, April 22, 2010

Death camp for small, furry, adorable things busted by PETA, law enforcement

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:17 PM

click to enlarge Hamsters crammed in a bin at Sun Pet, Ltd. in Atlanta
  • Hamsters crammed in a bin at Sun Pet, Ltd. in Atlanta

If you have an aversion to things that are super gross and sad, don't read this post. Or do read it, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Sun Pet, Ltd., an Atlanta-based small pet supplier, was raided by officials this morning after a three-month PETA investigation revealed that animals were being cruelly treated and killed. "How cruelly were they being treated?" you ask. PETA's mole observed one Sun Pet employee exterminating unsalable hamsters by stuffing them into a plastic bag and beating it against a table. Others employees can be seen in video footage laughing about throwing rodents against walls and squeezing them like Playstation controllers (see embedded video).

According to a PETA press release, Sun Pet's other offenses included  the sale of sick and injured animals — guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats, mostly, although Sun Pet also deals in fish and birds — to chains like PETCO and PetSmart, and the purchase of animals from unlicensed vendors.

PETA Vice President, Daphna Nachminovitch, says that PETA was alerted to potential abuses at Sun Pet by tipsters, often employees at big pet store chains who saw the poor condition in which animals were arriving from the supplier. Nachminovitch isn't entirely sure the result of this morning's raid (which she said was performed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture), but hopes that in the end, criminal charges are filed against the employees who were observed and filmed abusing animals.

A pet retail locator on Sun Pet's website allows you to look up all of the area pet stores that buy animals from that distributor — and it's not just the big guys like PETCOs and PetSmarts. The reality, says Nachminovitch, is adopting pets (yes, even hamsters and mice and rats and guinea pigs) is the only way to ensure they don't come from a place of Sun Pet's ilk. "When people buy animals fom pet shops," she says, "they can count on those animals coming from a mill. That’s the way it wroks, The hamsters, the fish, they barely cost a few pennies, even when you have a huge death toll — its just part of business."

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