PetSmart retail chain sues PETA alleging spying
If you don't have a pet (or "animal companion," to be politically correct), you may never have entered a PetSmart store. But the Phoenix-based chain of big box pet stores, with over 1,600 locations, is enduring the same difficult times that other big-box brick-and-mortar retailers face, with declining per store sales.
Now PetSmart faces a P.R. offensive from PETA, an organization that doesn't think people should keep pets, and it is fighting back with a lawsuit. Brent Scher reports in The Free Beacon:
Pet superstore PetSmart has filed a lawsuit against PETA, claiming a former employee who illegally filmed internal operations was being paid by and acting with orders from the animal-rights group that aims to fully eradicate pet ownership.
PetSmart had already filed a lawsuit against the employee, Jenna Jordan, for lying on her job application and proceeding to transmit secretly recorded audio and video to PETA. The newly filed lawsuit, however, names both Jordan and PETA as the defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that Jordan was on the receiving end of both "funding and logistical support" from PETA while she was employed by PetSmart. It says Jordan lied on her job application by omitting her employment with PETA, as well as the fact that she had previously been fired by a zoo for secretly collecting information on its operations for PETA.
"When Jordan applied to work at PetSmart in March 2017, Jordan deliberately concealed from PetSmart that she was a PETA agent and operative with a clear and obvious conflict of interest preventing her from discharging her duties and honoring the common law and contractual duties that she owed to PetSmart as a PetSmart employee," the lawsuit says.
I have no idea about the legal merits of this lawsuit, filed under the laws of Florida. Presumably, PetSmart chose a jurisdiction whose laws are most favorable to its claims. But as a journalist, I prefer to see undercover videos allowed — for example, at Planned Parenthood, to choose a random case.
On the other hand, I love my puppy Fawn and react very, very badly to people who would deny me the right to her companionship and deprive her of the care and love that I enjoy lavishing upon her.
I don't know which side to root for here. I don't want animals harmed or neglected. But I do want animals to continue to be our best friends.