Authorities raided a Nashville-area PetSmart on Thursday, seizing hamsters, mice, and a guinea pig, WSMV reports. According to the Tennessean, PETA says it received photos and videos from a PetSmart employee showing store managers "repeatedly refusing to provide sick, injured, and dying animals with veterinary care in order to keep costs down so that they would receive bonuses." PETA says the mistreated animals "were being left to endure slow, miserable deaths" and included a guinea pig with an abscessed knee joint that spread infection to its heart and brain; another guinea pig with an abscessed wound on its back, dehydration, and gastrointestinal stasis; and a mouse whose inflamed eye and respiratory infection went untreated for a month prior to its death. PETA passed the footage along to Metro Animal Care and Control.
Metro Animal Care and Control says the photos and videos showed "what appeared to be inadequate care for injured animals," WKRN reports. Police and the health department raided the PetSmart and seized six animals, giving them to a local vet for care. "We confiscated any injured or sick animals and have requested veterinary records as well as their policies on animal care," a health department spokesperson tells the Tennessean. No arrests have been made, but charges are possible. PetSmart says it's investigating the allegations and the video itself, as it claims some of the footage "is several years old." It defended its animal-care practices, saying, "There is no adverse effect on a store team that takes every step possible to care for pets." (Read more PetSmart stories.)