When API went undercover into 64 California pet shops, we found abundant evidence of animal suffering. Here are some "lowlights" of our investigation:
44% of stores had at least one animal who was sick, injured, or showed signs of neglect.
44% of stores had at least one animal who showed signs of psychological distress.
32% of stores investigated maintained animals in cages with unsanitary conditions, including feces accumulation at the bottom of cages and feces-encrusted perches in bird enclosures.
25% of stores did not provide animals with sanitary food or water. Water and food bowls were often contaminated with feces or mold.
37% of stores had one or more animals maintained in an enclosure that was too small or too crowded for the animals to move about comfortably or to avoid social aggression from cage mates.
66% of stores failed to provide at least one form of environmental enrichment (toys, exercise wheels, hide boxes, etc.) to one or more of the animals in their care.
64% of stores failed to provide API's investigator with written information on the care and housing requirements for the animals they sell. California law requires that such information sheets be provided to consumers.
12% of stores had unweaned parrots on the premises. (On a positive note, all but one of these stores were found to be complying with the API-sponsored California law that went into effect in 2004 requiring that young birds be fully weaned before leaving the store with the purchaser.)
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