For Immediate Release:
January 3, 2024
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Kingwood, Texas – Damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports just obtained by PETA reveal that local animal breeder and pet store Animal Ark has been cited for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act after an inspector found animals confined to cages filled with accumulated feces in ramshackle rooms. In response, PETA rushed an urgent letter today to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg urging her to have a veterinarian visit the facility with investigators and file appropriate charges against those responsible for the neglect.
According to the reports, on November 27 a store representative “refused to allow [the inspector] to conduct the inspection” and complained that inspections were happening too frequently. A September 11 inspection report documented algae growing inside multiple animals’ water bottles, and on May 24 an inspector found rabbits, hedgehogs, and guinea pigs confined to enclosures in which the floors were more than half-covered with feces and that the rooms in which the enclosures were located had a “noticeable foul odor,” among other issues.
“Animals languish in filthy conditions at pet stores like Animal Ark, which treats them as nothing but commodities,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is urging Harris County authorities to prosecute those responsible for this neglect and calls on everyone to avoid buying animals from any pet store or breeder.”
PETA is pursuing charges under state law because the USDA doesn’t render relief or aid to animals during its inspections and these infractions carry no federal criminal or civil penalties.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.