An ex-PetSmart worker claims that he was fired after he alerted corporate to animal cruelty happening at the store he worked at.
Jose Martinez (@h3lpspreadtheword) is using TikTok to spread awareness about animal abuse at a PetSmart location in Bellingham, Mass. His most recent video has reached over 229,000 viewers as of this writing.
@h3lpspreadtheword This is the type of content I will be creating from here on out. I am going to be the Whistle Blower for animals and pet parents around the world. Please like and share this video to help me spread awareness. I was recently fired for exposing this to the corporate company. They paid me a small portion of the money they stole from me and basically got me fired two weeks after. This store location is at Bellingham Massachusetts. #theworldneeds #help #helpmeplease #fortheanimals #petsmar #petsmart #petsmartlife #petsmartcan #petsmartpartner #explore #foryoupage #motivation #pets #animalactivist #animalaction ♬ Dark aesthetic gothic horror piano(1310267) – ochi
Jose begins his video by saying, “I was wrongfully terminated after letting them know animal cruelty was being taken too far in my store. When I came back from my vacation they retaliated and got me fired.”
“Here’s some things that I used to discover while working at that store,” he continues. “Every day I used to come and have to save animals because of the wrongdoing of other employees and managers.” The ex-PetSmart employee shows multiple betta fish stored in clear containers with no water. He alleges that the fish are kept in empty containers in the store’s backroom for hours, slowly dying.
“As I came into the afternoon shift I rushed to get them into the fish tanks,” he says, adding that he was the only employee at the store who was educated in animal care.
He also shows a clear bag full of fish, both dead and alive, that he pulls out of a trash can. “Now that I’m not working there, I’m concerned about the well-being of all the animals that I left behind in the store.”
In another video, Jose shows a chameleon that had been left in a “completely dry and enclosed” room at more than 100 degrees. He says he gave the creature water, noting that the reptile should be in 70-80 degree temperatures. There are also other videos on his account showing various injured and dying animals being neglected in their cages and tanks.
Jose informed the Daily Dot that he reached out to corporate after about five months of working at PetSmart. He says that instead of rectifying the issue, the company claimed that his accusations were false, and they fired him. He also alleged that PetSmart forged his signature on documents.
“They paid me a small portion of the money they stole from me and basically got me fired two weeks after,” he says. “After all I had done to restore and help improve this business, I feel bad for the animals that remain in the shop without me.”
This is hardly the first time the company has come under fire for the way it treats its animals. In May 2023, a woman said that she found a box full of live fish while dumpster diving behind a PetSmart, and in October 2021, another woman claimed to have found a box of hamsters in a PetSmart dumpster.
Viewers of Jose’s video confirmed his allegations in the comments.
One person claimed, “I used to work at a store that shared dumpster space and we would find live birds and a hamster.”
“I quit petsmart for the exact same reason. That place shouldn’t have live animals period,” said another user.
Someone else suggested, “You need to sue that company for retaliation. Please get a lawyer. I hate this.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Jose via TikTok direct message and PetSmart via email.