Two former Petland managers charged with animal cruelty following HSUS undercover investigation

By on September 18, 2019 with 28 Comments

Police in Fairfax, Virginia, announced yesterday that they have charged two former managers of a Petland store with animal cruelty on the heels of an undercover investigation we released in April. Our investigation disclosed a pile of dead rabbits in the store’s freezer, and Petland employees admitting on camera that sick rabbits are left to die rather than receiving veterinary care.

We tipped off the authorities before our investigation aired on television and in other media, and they paid a surprise visit to the store where they found 32 dead pets – one puppy and 31 rabbits – in a freezer. The store quickly closed down after Petland, Inc. revoked its franchise agreement.

The investigation of the Fairfax store was among a series that the HSUS has done over the past year to expose just how badly this national chain, which continues to source and sell puppies from puppy mills, treats many of the animals in its care. Of the seven Petland stores we have investigated, dead animals were found in the freezers at five. In the other two stores, our employees were unable to access the freezers.

Last week we released our investigation into a Frisco, Texas Petland store, where our investigator found a dead rabbit in the freezer, as well as puppies being mistreated and suffering from ailments such as persistent vomiting and diarrhea, breathing problems and seizures. Instead of promptly bringing severely ill puppies to a veterinarian, we found Petland staff force-feeding them and administering ad hoc treatments in a back room, sometimes for more than a week.

Your response to these investigations has been tremendous. In the wake of our most recent undercover video, more than 8,000 animal lovers called Petland’s corporate office in Ohio. The video of last week’s Frisco, Texas, investigation has been viewed on social media almost 200,000 times, and about the same number of people have signed our online petition urging Petland to stop selling puppies, rabbits and kittens in all of their stores.

But despite the evidence against the Frisco store and despite the fact that the Frisco store owner was cited for violating the local animal code by law enforcement authorities, Petland continues to deny the findings of that investigation. Frisco Animal Services even posted a press release confirming that agents had visited the store a number of times in response to our findings, and required the owner to take a number of sick animals to a veterinarian for treatment. We will continue to post updates if any charges are filed in that case.

Many of you have asked what else you can do to help. First and foremost, we recommend never purchasing any puppy, rabbit or kitten from a pet store. Responsible breeders don’t sell to pet stores because they want to meet the families who are taking home their animals, and shelters are also filled with wonderful cats, dogs and rabbits looking for homes. If you’ve purchased a sick puppy at any pet store, please let us know. We collect these complaints to use for potential litigation and to support law enforcement action or local policy changes as appropriate.

If you’ve worked at a problem pet store, please email our Stop Puppy Mills campaign at If you wish to call the Petland corporate office and politely request that they stop selling rabbits and puppies, please call 833-976-1404.

We are working to pass laws that prohibit the sale of commercially-raised puppies in pet stores, and we have already been successful in passing such laws in the states of California and Maryland and in nearly 320 localities. You can sign up as an ally in this fight and continue to follow our social media pages and this blog for updates. Together, let’s work for the day when pet stores can no longer profit from animals they treat like products, without an iota of compassion and care.

Tell Petland to stop selling puppies and rabbits

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Joan pash says:

    They keep selling puppies onFacebook. I keep warning people because over a year ago I googled them and it even named the puppy mills they used. Said one was the worst. I keep urging people to check Google and not to buy. Don’t know if I am doing any good.

    • LV says:

      U are keep up d amazing work!! We must all advocate to stop this atrocities!!

    • Roberta Rose says:

      You need to check Pet City in Colorado! I worked for them years ago and they had puppies in the back room with parvovirus that they just let die. I reported them to the humane society ,and a few different organizations and no one would help me. Please help me stop them!

  2. Dia says:

    They are piece of shit killing pet who need love and to care for. The pets for more loyal then people

  3. Pamela dunseith says:

    I am very small breeder of poodles,I cannot stand maltreatment toward any animal!!!!!

    • Norma Ray says:

      Aren’t there enough animals that need to be adopted, Pamela? Why are you purposely breeding more?
      Just because you are against mistreatment, does not guarantee the ones you sell will be safe from it Abusers come in all shapes and sizes.and it’s always the ones you would least expect.

  4. Debra Picard says:

    😤😤😤😰😰😰absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! I rescued pit bulls for many years and kept four…after an EVIL person killed one of my beloved boys! Now I rescue unwanted goats! I hate breeding any domestic animal, my goats are fixed and are in complete retirement! 10 fenced in acres of forage plus I give them hay daily! People have to BE MADE TO STOP BREEDING AND SELLING ANY ANIMAL! I DESPISE ANYONE WHO HAS THE NERVE TO BREED WHEN SHELTERS, RESCUES ARE OVER FLOWING! And to not bother to have a vet help a sick animal is complete EVIL!

    • Susan Truax says:

      They breed because they are greedy and want the money. So very sad. I look at one page in the paper and there is an animal shelter trying to find homes and then the other page has all new puppies for sale from greedy breeders.

    • Linda Smith says:

      I totally agree with you! All our animals are rescues.

  5. Anthony Phillips says:

    I would file a complaint at the state AG’s office with a consumer protection claim. “Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act: The DTPA provides that “false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.”

    The DTPA prohibits certain acts or practices “in the conduct of any trade or commerce.” This is a very broad provision. “Trade and commerce” means “the advertising, offering for sale, lease, or distribution of any good or service, or any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal, or mixed, any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated, and shall include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this state.”

  6. Fay khoury says:

    This is so sad why you people can work for this horrible company makes you just as guilty may karma come to all who mistreat these precious animals you make me sick and to our gov officials shame on you for not passing harsher laws on animal abuse you are in the same boat as the rest may karma come back a million times worse on you

  7. Jill Kendall says:

    Close the doors

  8. T. Null says:

    Shut these stores down.
    This is completely unacceptable. Abuse of ANY kind can NOT be tolerated.

  9. Maggie gibbs says:

    Help those who cannot speak for themselves!

  10. Kay Threlkeld says:

    Take a look at San Dimas Grain in San Dimas CA. They sell rabbits and they are not living in good conditions. They also sell dogs. I am concerned about how well the animals are taken care of.

  11. Katy Jafari says:

    Disgusting and barbaric. Needs to stop NOW!

  12. Linda Hyman says:

    Put them in Jail forever!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Kristina says:

    Close down all petlands.

  14. Elena childs says:

    Ningún anilmal tiene que sufrir.

  15. Polly says:

    Someone needs to check out the Petland in South Point OH. They do not feed the fish (it’s too much money to feed, they just let them die), they do not dispose of animals feces correctly (they wash poop down the sink), they will not buy cleaning supplies, it’s a safety hazard with exposed electrical near gallons of open water, etc. Its a dump!

  16. LL says:

    So.. the article is saying that they were found in the freezer. What are they planning to do with them after freezing them???
    This is a horror show!!!! Sick to my stomach!!!!

  17. Charlene says:

    I do hope that these people are in jail at this moment and get a terribly high bond and a high price fine

  18. Lorie says:

    Reading this hit me hard, 3 years ago we bought a bunny from Petland in Orlando. We had this adorable little guy for about a week & he wouldn’t eat , had diarrhea & wasn’t active. So we found a vet that cared for bunnies after 2 long weeks of medical care many vet visits (not to mention the cost) he passed away. We contacted Petland after the first visit to let them know because what he had was contagious not only to other animals, but to humans as well. The manager wouldn’t even talk to us, and the continued to keep the other bunnies on the sales floor. They real
    do not care about there animals or there shoppers.

  19. Audrey Jordan says:

    Josh Pass, hopefully somebody will listen to you. Even if only person does, that’s one person that will hopefully tell another that will listen, and so on. Changes such as these are usually very slow, but sometimes we get lucky & they catch on like wildfire. Thank you for caring and trying to help stop this cruelty.

  20. Jennifer Raby says:

    I would never buy from a place like this, when we had power outages from storms in Florida you think they took the animals home with them to be comfortable.. we should all be protesting animal rights they have no voice we are their voice .. its just sad .. I would only rescue !!!!

  21. Norma Ray says:

    Slavery is basicly what it is. Animals held against their will. Humans using them for any purpose they choose. Passed from one owner to another without concideration of how the animal feels about it. Locked in cages confined when no crime has been commited. Forced to breed. Then seperated from their young. Slavery

  22. Sofia says:

    I live in Japan, and I asked a pet shop why they refuse to let the animals be together. I mean, they are tiny babies, and they are prevented from sharing love and affection behind plastic walls. They say that they won’t put them together because they might be sick. I guess there could be some sense in that, but they do it until the animals are adopted… or never adopted. That means that the animals in pet shops are required to stay in cages their whole lives until someone saves them. It’s insane. Why do we do this?
    I told them they should give them a quarantine time and then let them be together, poor things.

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