Between November 2018 and March 2019, the Humane Society of the United States carried out a hidden camera investigation at the Petland store in Fairfax, Virginia.

As per the organization, the investigation, documented on hidden camera, found that sick or injured rabbits in the Virginia store were dying without receiving veterinary care, and that many of the rabbits appeared to be coming from an inhumane breeder without a USDA license. Petland is the largest chain of pet stores in the U.S. that still sells puppies and rabbits. Deplorable!

“It’s heartbreaking to see gentle rabbits treated as if they are no more than stuffed toys. No pet deserves to be treated like a disposable product, and it’s time for Petland to change its business plan to reflect that,” John Goodwin, Senior Director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, said in a statement. “Our previous investigations have linked Petland to cruel puppy mills. This newest investigation has linked them to a rabbit mill as well.”

Horrifically, several employees indicated that it was a regular store practice to let sick or injured rabbits die rather than providing them with veterinary care. One employee told the undercover investigator that when rabbits get sick, “we just let them die.” Another employee told the investigator, “they’re not checked by a vet,” and “the sick ones just kind of die out.”

Unfathomably, when the HSUS undercover investigator found a dead rabbit in a plastic basket under a table in a back room, another employee stated “that’s where we hide them.”

Families considering getting a rabbit are encouraged to research the animal’s needs very carefully, and adopt from a shelter or rabbit rescue group.

In March 2019, the Humane Society of the United States linked Petland’s rabbits to Wagner Farm in Centreville, Maryland. On the property, investigators found approximately 200 rabbits kept in dirty and crowded conditions. The conditions were similar to what the HSUS finds in puppy mills, but in this case, it was a rabbit mill. Some of the rabbits appeared to be injured, and at least one was seen laying across the top of a cage, dead.

Wagner Farm’s owner acknowledged to the investigator that he sells about 60 rabbits a month to the Fairfax Petland, a volume of sales that would require him to obtain a USDA license and follow specific standards of care. Yet HSUS found no indication that Wagner has a USDA license.

More Reasons To Always Adopt Not Shop!