I received a boiler-plate reply to my email to PetSmart. They link to a press release on their website. Interestingly, the press release doesn't mention Angel as one of their 2 main concerns, which were the neutering of the rabbit and someone stepping on a hamster to kill it. Looks to me like a speedy response by someone at corporate who hasn't even seen all of the footage, or isn't paying attention. Typical corporate damage control. Please write your letters to Petsmart if you haven't yet. Let's not let that baby cockatoo's death be in vain, there is no excuse for any human being to allow an animal to suffer like that. It is unconscionable.

Here is the response:

Thank you for taking the time to contact PetSmart. We're very concerned about some of the images in the PETA video and are looking into the allegations that have been raised. For all the details on the Rainbow investigation and PETA's other campaigns, please visit {our website}. We will be updating this site as more information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Customer Service Manager
PetSmart

And the press release:

PETA's Campaign Against Rainbow Exotics

Updated January 23, 2008

PETA has launched a campaign against Rainbow Exotics, one of our major pet suppliers. The images, video and allegations are very disturbing.

Of all of PETA’s allegations, there are two that are of particular concern to us:

1. PETA alleges that some surgical procedures being performed at the facility are outside standard veterinary care. One particularly troubling segment of the video shows a Rainbow staff member conducting a surgical procedure on a rabbit.

It’s difficult to know exactly what was happening during this procedure, however, we are concerned that appropriate methods weren’t being followed. This is a serious concern to us and one we’re investigating fully.

2. The PETA video implies that a Rainbow staff member killed an escaped hamster by stepping on it. While the video is not completely clear and we’re not sure of the true facts surrounding this issue, we’re treating it seriously and are fully investigating it.

These allegations are troubling and we’re taking them very seriously, which is why we’re conducting an investigation. PETA also made other allegations that deserve a response:

Care and condition of the pets and facility
PETA alleges that pets are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions.

• PetSmart requires that our suppliers’ facilities must meet USDA requirements for animal care as well as our own high standards, which includes space requirements. We’re conducting a full investigation to make sure our standards are being met.

• The habitats are designed for cleanliness and safety, knowing the pets spend only a short time in these facilities before being shipped to stores. PETA’s images unfortunately portray only pets that are in various stages of being transported within the facility, when large numbers are grouped together for a few moments.

Medical care provided the pets
PETA alleges that no veterinarian ever visited the facility during the two month investigation and that pets were cared for by untrained staff.

• PetSmart requires each vendor to have an attending veterinarian, and Rainbow has a veterinarian that is responsible for overseeing the medical needs of the pets.

Death and disposal of pets
PETA portrays Rainbow as being insensitive regarding the disposal of pets that may have died in their care.

Even under the best circumstances, unfortunately some pets get sick and die. The loss of any life is upsetting, and while images of death are always difficult to accept, sadly it’s an inevitable fact of life.


PetSmart is committed to the exemplary treatment of pets, and we believe this is evident to customers who shop our stores.

We use only USDA-licensed breeding facilities for our pet suppliers, and we require that our breeders have a licensed veterinarian on staff. We expect our breeders and their veterinarians, including Rainbow, to be true to our high standards for pet care as well as those required by regulation. When PetSmart vets have visited Rainbow’s facility (including unannounced visits), they have found those standards in place. That’s why we’re so disappointed and disturbed by some of the issues that have been raised. We’ve launched a full investigation into this matter and we’ll take any and all steps necessary to make sure our pets receive appropriate treatment and care.

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service line at (800) 738-1385, ext. 2518.