Photo by HSUS
Between July and August 2019, a hidden-camera investigation conducted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in the Frisco, Texas, Petland store uncovered both animal mistreatment and rampant disease. Citations for alleged violations of the city animal control ordinance are reportedly pending against the Frisco Petland store, according to an animal control official, after the HSUS investigators presented documentation of sick puppies and described puppies too sick to eat or suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Key findings from the Frisco Petland investigation include:
An injured rabbit was placed in a cardboard box in a back room instead of being taken to a veterinarian. The HSUS investigator asked an employee, “What happens if he doesn’t get better?” and the employee answered, “They freeze them.” She added, “So don’t look in the freezer [if] you’re grossed out by dead things.” The HSUS investigator checked the freezer the next day and found a rabbit dead inside.
Some puppies appeared to be noticeably underweight with their ribs showing, and many puppies routinely suffered from issues such as coughing, wheezing, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Rather than take the puppies to a veterinarian for diagnosis, staff often attempted to treat them with guess work home remedies such as probiotics and cough syrup, often at the direction of the store owner or kennel managers. Frail puppies so sick that they refused to eat were routinely force-fed, sometimes for a week or more, instead of being brought to a veterinary hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
When puppies who had been sick showed signs of improvement, they were put out front for sale, but people who purchased the puppies were not always told that their new pet had recently been ill or had been given medications by Petland staff. When asked, an employee told the HSUS investigator that the store didn’t give these records to buyers because they “might reject” a puppy who had been sick.