photography of three dogs looking up

Greedy private equity at PetSmart creates danger for pets and abuses workers?

(Bloomberg) — Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking private equity firm BC Partners about management at PetSmart after reports of unsafe conditions for both employees and animals.

Significant cost-cutting and reduced staffing since the firm acquired PetSmart in 2015 was exacerbated by the pandemic, when pet adoption and customer traffic surged, Warren said. The Massachusetts Democrat asked BC Partners in a letter Tuesday to explain the steps it has taken to address complaints about lack of safety protections for workers and a reported increase in pet deaths.

“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 said in the letter, which was also signed by Representative Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat. “Given recent reports, we are concerned that BC Partners may have followed — and may continue to be following — the same model.”

The lawmakers directed BC Partners to respond to their questions by Nov. 19.”

Related article. Poodle dies at PetSmart.