PetSmart Adds PETA to ‘Smear Campaign’ Lawsuit
PetSmart has added animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to its lawsuit against Jenna Jordan, a former employee who is accused of “tricking” PetSmart into hiring her in order to carry out “a smear campaign” against the company. Justine Glassmoyer, the assistant manager of the PetSmart location where Jordan worked in Brandon, Fla., is also listed as a plaintiff.
PETA, headquartered in Norfolk, Va., has declined to comment due to the ongoing litigation, according to online newspaper The Washington Free Beacon.
The lawsuit was first filed in June 2018 alleging that Jordan had failed to state on her job application that she was being paid by PETA to secretly collect audio and video footage. PETA then used these recordings to publish an expose on its website claiming that PetSmart mistreated animals.
In the amended complaint, PetSmart describes PETA as a “militant, activist organization” that has “a long history of conducting unlawful, covert operations and infiltrations to eradicate pet ownership.”
The defendants’ unlawful conduct, according to the lawsuit, includes animal neglect, unlawful surveillance and the recording of private conversations in areas of PetSmart’s stores not accessible to the public. These actions are in breach of Jordan’s employment contracts and in violation of criminal law, the lawsuit continued.
The lawsuit maintains that Jordan’s animal neglect stems from a conflict of interest to support PETA in its agenda to manufacture evidence against PetSmart. Evidence shows that Jordan acknowledged and agreed to abide by PetSmart’s policies and procedures to obtain immediate care for any sick or injured animal she observed at a PetSmart location. She instead chose to withhold medical care, according to the lawsuit.
“As a pet care associate, Jordan was empowered by PetSmart—and indeed was required by PetSmart policies and procedures—to transport any injured or sick pet to a veterinary clinic to receive immediate veterinary care,” the lawsuit said. “Instead of procuring immediate veterinary care for the parakeet, Jordan chose to videotape the animal for eventual use in PETA’s planned propaganda campaign.”
Although PetSmart said it has no way to determine the full scope of damages, the damages are pretty “significant,” including diminished sales and loss of customer goodwill.
The plaintiffs are demanding, among other monetary damages, that Jordan and PETA award PetSmart and Glassmoyer $100 per day for each day of unlawful recording.