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.
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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.
It says Jordan began to record conversations with her manager, Justine Glassmoyer, on her first day of employment. Glassmoyer is a plaintiff along with PetSmart in the lawsuit.
"At PETA’s direction and acting as its agent, Jordan intercepted and recorded the conversations surreptitiously and without Ms. Glassmoyer’s consent," it says. "At PETA’s direction and acting as its agent, Jordan then transmitted each of these recordings to PETA’s office in Norfolk, Virginia, in furtherance of PETA’s public smear campaign against PetSmart."
The lawsuit claims Jordan's recordings were used to damage both the store and its employees.
"PETA deceptively edited the unlawfully recorded conversations and published the deceptively edited video as part of a promotional video intended to damage and discredit PetSmart," it says.
It also claims Jordan neglected the well-being of animals due to her focus on hurting the store.
PETA has previously declined to comment on the allegations against Jordan.
"PETA is not a party to this case, but we know what was seen inside PetSmart would be upsetting to anyone who cares about animals," spokesperson Catie Cryar told the Washington Free Beacon in a May 2018 email.
Now officially named, Cryar says the group is unable to comment for legal reasons.
"Ongoing litigation prevents PETA from discussing the specifics of this meritless lawsuit, which is a desperate attempt by PetSmart to distract consumers from the documented animal suffering at its stores and suppliers, which PETA has exposed time and time again," Cryar said in a Friday email.
A previous email from Cryar linked to the "exposé" created with footage from inside PetSmart stores and pointed to the success of the campaign.
"Our exposé—which also included stores in Tennessee and Arizona—prompted authorities to execute a search warrant, open a criminal investigation, and file cruelty charges against three store managers in Nashville," Cryar said in a June 2018 email.
The lawsuit calls for PETA, described as a "militant, activist organization," to pay $100 for each day Jordan made unlawful recordings.