Reptile lovers everywhere have been horrified by a recent video that’s been circulating around, claiming that a popular reptile breeding company has been abusing reptiles and amphibians that they have bred for distribution to PetSmart and dozens of other pet stores around the US. Reptiles by Mack, the distributor in question, is now denying the claims.
PETA released the video just a couple weeks ago, alleging that employees at Mack’s Reptiles mistreated hundreds of animals at one distribution facility over a period of months.
This video, depicting extreme cases of animal abuse, may be difficult for some viewers to watch, so viewer discretion should be advised.
Reptiles by Mack released a statement denying the claims on their website. “The PETA allegations reflect
“The PETA allegations reflect care that is absolutely not up to our standards; this type of animal treatment is not how we train our employees and will not be tolerated in any of our facilities,” wrote John Mack in the statement.
Reptiles by Mack has not responded to requests for an interview.
“In their statement…they say that our claims are false, but they add no details on any of the specifics that are right there on video,” said Colin Henstock, investigations specialist for PETA.
Henstock asserts that things aren’t as bright at the reptile breeder’s headquarters as Reptile’s by Mack claims. Responding to claims that the breeder provides appropriate living conditions and veterinary care for the thousands of reptiles under their watch, Henstock believes that’s far from the case. “[John Mack] assured us of certain things, including that they had secured onsite vet treatment for animals, and that their killing methods would fall under American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines, and that animals would have access to water, and species appropriate lighting…”
“We had an observer go in [to Reptile’s by Mack’s facility] December and work until early February. We still found animals languishing without any veterinary care, species that weren’t given adequate water, and we also actually saw that dying animals were now left in ‘put down tubs’ for days until a senior manager would come to gas them,” says Henstock.
According to Henstock, PETA has reported the company to local authorities in Ohio.
While we reached out to PetSmart, PetSmart has not responded to media inquiries.
For Henstock, there’s no difference between companies like Reptiles by Mack and puppy mills. “Abuse is abuse, no matter the species. We saw, and documented, and publicized plenty of suffering and abuse at Reptiles by Mack.