Fed inspectors find sick, dead animals at pet store supplier

A federal inspection turned up scores of problems at a Pennsylvania small-animal dealer that supplied major pet retailers like Petco and PetSmart.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report on its January inspection of Holmes Chinchilla Ranch in Barto.

Inspectors found sick and dead animals, inadequate sanitation, untrained employees performing euthanasia and other deficiencies.

A USDA spokeswoman said Monday the agency's investigation of Holmes remains open.

Federal investigators spent several days at Holmes after an animal-rights group shot video purporting to show substandard conditions at the dealer's facility, where it keeps thousands of hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and other species.

Petco said in January it severed its relationship with Holmes. PetSmart, however, is refusing to say whether it's still getting animals from the dealer.

A Holmes official didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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