Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pet Company Conditions Could Have "Baked Brains"

June 15, 2010 10:59 PM
Jessica Oh

The Department of Agriculture and McKamey say the Pet Company had unlivable conditions for animals. The Department of Agriculture claims the animals were in 85 degree heat while in their cages.

Veterinarian at East Ridge Animal Hospital, Drew Smith says that can cause a condition called heat stress.

“It’s a sudden increase in body temperature above 104 degrees. It’s different than a fever. A fever, an animal can adjust to. But heat stress is a sudden increase so animals can’t adjust.”

And if animals can not adjust, that could mean serious damage.

“The symptoms that we see are neurological symptoms because it’s essentially baking the brain and dogs in particular can have bloody diarrhea and vomiting because it causes them to go into shock.”

In court, McKamey said bleach was used in a way that could have been hazardous.

“If an animal ingests bleach, it’s very corrosive. It can be irritating to the mouth and intestines.”

And overall sanitary conditions at the Pet Company were questioned as well. McKamey said some animals were found in broken or dirty cages.

“If the feces stays in the cage, it can be a source of reinfection and then urine can essentially scald the skin.”

Michelle Sipsy visited the Pet Company and she was so concerned with what she saw that she demanded the manager provide answers.

“I asked if they had ever been through an inspection and she said yes they passed all of it. So I asked for some evidence or some papers or something, and she said she didn’t have to show me that.”

Sipsy says she also asked the manager if the animals were ever let out of their cages. She says, both a manager and attendant said the animals were only let out while cleaning the cages.

“They were laying on the bottom of the cages and a few of them were whimpering and when you walked up and looked at them, you could just see they were miserable.”

Smith says if animals are left in a confined space for a days at a time, they can develop a symptom called, cage crazy.

“That’s when they circle around and around and actually become very aggressive. It can be detrimental if an animal stays in a cage for a long period of time.”

Companion Animal Hospital off Lee Highway works with the Pet Company and does the veterinary work for the pet store.

Earlier Newschannel9 went to the Companion Animal Hospital, workers there declined to do an on camera interview but said they had a good working relationship with the Pet Company and did not tend to any animals that seemed abused.