JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) PETA has reviewed damning North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) records from between June 2018 and February 2020 that reveal that 20 PetSmart stores in the state—including two in Jacksonville—were ordered to improve conditions for animals in order to comply with the state’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

In October 2018, an NCDA&CS inspector noted that the store on Western Boulevard lacked records for the cats on display.

In January 2019, the inspector found that as of 12:45 p.m., the cat cages at the store on Yopp Road had not been cleaned that day and the litter boxes gave off odors that could be detected before entering the cat room.

A few minutes later, it was noted that the cats had not yet been fed that day, either.

The NCDA&CS records reveal that PetSmart stores also came under fire in Fayetteville, Wilmington, Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Wilkesboro, Burlington, Lexington, and eight other cities across the state.

According to the records, cats in multiple stores were caged with filthy litter boxes, seemingly sick and sneezing cats were found on display in four stores, and eight other stores were told to improve their recordkeeping for animals offered for adoption.

A Charlotte store was also assessed a $500 penalty for failing to provide veterinary care to Beethoven, a dog who developed a painful, inflamed scrotum while being boarded at its kennel.

The NCDA&CS also cited the PetSmart store near Asheboro for at least 23 violations of the AWA and warned that further violations may result in penalties of up to $5,000 per violation and action against its license to operate.

Online stores that aren’t affiliated with chains that sell animals, like PetSmart, include Target, PetFlow, and Wag.com.