PetSmart, Inc. is a retail chain doing business in the United States and Canada engaged in the sale of specialty pet supplies and services such as grooming and dog training, PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities and Doggie Day Care. The name PetSmart was coined as a pun.
PetSmart was founded in 1986 and opened its first Pet Food Warehouse stores in the Phoenix area. Through several mergers and acquisitions, PetSmart expanded in the early- and late-1990s across the U.S. and into Canada, and entered online retailing through a partnership with Idealab in 1999.
In early 2000, PetSmart remodeled most of its store in a plan they called "Eagle" which changed many of its stores from a front-half storefront, back-half warehouse feel to an all-over standard retail market, in hopes of not intimidating customers.
In August 2005, the company announced that it was rebranding its name from PetsMart to PetSmart. This move is designed to emphasize its evolution from a pet supply store to a solutions-oriented company.
As of November 2007, PetSmart operated approximately 1,000 stores and about 150 locations with PetsHotels and Doggie Day Camps. Some PetSmarts are co-located with Banfield Pet Hospital verterinary offices.
In January, 2008, PetSmart voluntarily stopped selling live birds at all of its 785 stores in the US after the discovery of psittacosis in some cockatiels in their stores in December 2007. Psittacosis is an infection caused by a strain of bacteria closely related to chlamydia that can be transmitted from birds to humans and produces symtoms similar to the flu.PetSmart has now started selling live birds again as of about April, 2008.
PetSmart Charities, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, also raises money for local adoption groups, including groups that it does not offer in-store space. In many stores, donations are collected at the register via traditional drop boxes. Some stores also ask customers if they wish to donate a dollar at the register when they use a credit or debit card. PetSmart charities also has an annual donation drive. Proceeds from Petsmart Charities events are given to over 3,400 adoption partners. PetSmart Charities claims that of the six to eight million pets collected by rescue agencies, three to four million are euthanized simply because they do not have a loving home.
PetSmart Charities Inc. is set to award the Austin Humane Society the first of three grant installments totaling $227,000 to assist in funding AHS's new Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Program.
PetSmart Charities is also known for its Rescue Waggin' program. The program operates specially-designed trucks that transport adoptable dogs from areas that are overpopulated to partner shelters where adoptable animals are in demand. Rescue Waggin' operates trucks in the Midwest and the Northeast regions of the United States. The program has saved more than 10,000 pets since 2004.
On January 23, 2008, PETA posted a press release accusing one of Petsmart's largest vendors, Rainbow World Exotics, of neglect and cruelty to animals. Videotape evidence provided by an undercover PETA member who infiltrated the facility as an employee shows small animals treated cruelly and neglected. The more serious allegations included laypersons (not vets) neutering animals with unsafe provisions, live animals thrown in the trash, loose animals killed intentionally, and sick animals killed or left to die with no veterinarian interaction attempted. After these allegations PetSmart launched an investigation, which included dispatching a team of PetSmart veterinarians and other staff to Rainbow's facility unannounced. They reported that their investigation found no serious wrongdoing by Rainbow and claim that the video the PETA member took was inaccurate and did not represent the entire situation. PetSmart further allege that the PETA representative who recorded the images failed to raise any concerns of abuse or mistreatment to managers of the facility during her two-month employment . PETA is filing complaints with the USDA and pursuing criminal charges with the county of Hamilton, where Rainbow World exotics is located.
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