PetSmart under fire for poor working conditions and animal welfare

According to a report from United for RespectBC Partners, a private equity firm that is the owner of PetSmart, has made poor working conditions for their employees. This report claims that stores were inadequately staffed, trained, and protected–putting animals and the workers’ lives at risk. The report AllegationsThey do. “cut corners on the staffing, training, supplies, and equipment needed to provide quality pet care.”

Even during the pet boom during COVID lockdown, stores were understaffed. BC Partners received a letter signed by several employees. Employees requested hazard pay, enforcement on social distancing practices and personal protective equipment. But, BC Partners spokesperson said that they would not provide any. deniesThese are just a few of the claims. BC PartnersAccording to reports, PetSmart, owned by the company in question, was bought by.

US Senator Elizabeth WarrenCo-author of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, expressed an interest in this new report. “We have long been concerned that some private equity funds implement severe cost-cutting measures after acquiring companies, aiming to boost profits for themselves at the expense of workers, consumers, and taxpayers,”Warren (D–MA) and Representative Mark Pocan, (D–WI), wrote in Let me know to BC Partners Chairman Raymond Svider. 

Working Conditions During the Time of Covid

Warren’s letter identifies issues that employees have faced while working for the popular pet store, including inadequate training and staffing. Additional issues include the inability to provide personal protection during the pandemic, and the excessive COVID exposure. PetSmart employees brought these issues to the firm’s attention, to no avail.

According to the report United For Respect, “In July 2020, hundreds of current and former PetSmart employees wrote to BC Partners asking them to provide proper personal protective equipment, hazard pay, and to ensure store management effectively implemented recommended protocols in stores, like social distancing and mask mandates.” As of the report’s release in September 2021, employees had not heard from BC Partners.

Pet deaths have increased since 2015

Before the pandemic, other cost-cutting strategies were employed. “lower standard of care”For your pets. The most recent AnalysePetSmart found that the pet was happier when he was in his care. dog deathsSince the buyout, it has doubled in size. Also, employees reported that their earnings have doubled since the buyout. severe injuriesmedication misinterpretations, resulting in several emergency vet visits. Groomers reported being under pressure to groom dogs at a faster rate. Finally, at least one groomer reported that they had only one overnight supervisor to care for 80-100 dogs.

According to World Animal Protection, “worker well-being and training is closely linked to animal treatment because poorly trained, stressed workers will not be able to provide animals–whether in the store for grooming services, boarding, or for sale–with the care they need.”

While the claims made by PetSmart employees have not been substantiated, BC Partner’s lack of transparency is concerning. United For RespectBC Partners is being asked to change their policies and practices. They ask for health insurance for all PetSmart employees, fair scheduling, a $15 minimum salary, and an increase in essential worker pay. United For Respect asks for pet safety to be a priority. Advocates are asking for “functioning equipment, proper supplies, and adequate staffing and training that allows employees to safely give animals the caring services they deserve.”

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