Petco drops small-animal supplier amid federal probe

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(January 21, 2016) – Petco has severed its relationship with a Pennsylvania small-animal dealer amid a federal investigation into conditions at the facility where it keeps thousands of hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and other species.

The pet retailer said in a statement Tuesday that Holmes Chinchilla Ranch and Other Small Animals Inc. is no longer a supplier after the retailer concluded they did not meet their animal care standards.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture spent several days at Holmes this month after an animal-rights group shot video purporting to show substandard conditions at the Barto facility, about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The video reportedly shows numerous instances of animal cruelty including live rats stuffed in plastic bags and placed in a freezer, dishes filled with foul water, and cats on the loose preying on hamsters.

Holmes declined to answer questions about its operations, but said it is cooperating with USDA. The company says it expects to “satisfactorily resolve any concerns that they have now or arise in the future.”

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