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Passerby shocked to discover unopened bags of dog food thrown into dumpster outside pet store: 'I don't understand'

"Makes me so mad this would have all been wasted."

"Makes me so mad this would have all been wasted."

Photo Credit: iStock

A sadly common practice in modern business is for stores to throw away unsold products. Sometimes those products are something trivial like Funko Pops, but at other times stores throw away vital and desperately needed items like pet food. One dumpster diver recently got hold of a couple hundred pounds of dog and cat food, according to their Reddit post about the experience.

What happened?

"Huge pet store score," the original poster said, sharing a photo of 10 bags of pet food from different brands and in varying sizes.

"Makes me so mad this would have all been wasted."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"All unopened and don't expire until 2025," the original poster added. "Most of the bags are 25-50 pounds! Was able to bless A LOT of people who are struggling right now and really needed it for their pets. Makes me so mad this would have all been wasted."

According to a comment by the user, the store usually slashes open bags of pet food so they can't be reclaimed. "This time I just got lucky, because they must have been lazy, because only two were destroyed," they said.

As to why the food was being thrown away and destroyed, the original poster commented, "I don't understand."

Why does wasted dog food matter?

The world is full of cats and dogs in need of care. Shelters are always on the lookout for donations, and it seems there are more animals in need every year. If shelters received more supplies like the unsold food from pet stores, they could support more animals — which is a win for pets that just want a home, and for people who would see fewer strays in the community.

Meanwhile, when any product is thrown out, that's a waste of the resources that went into making it. The more we waste instead of using it efficiently, the bigger industries grow to meet demand, and the harder it is on the environment.

Is the company doing anything about this waste?

While the original poster declined to name names, they said the culprit was "probably the biggest chain when it comes to pet stores." That makes it likely that they were talking about either PetSmart or Petco, as the two combine for almost 40% of the pet store market share, with no other individual brand coming close, according to Statista.

PetSmart's website says that the chain intends to divert 75% of its waste from landfills by 2030. It doesn't list methods, but donating food would be an excellent way to do it.

Petco's website also includes verbiage about reducing waste, although it's more vague.

What can I do about business waste?

Even if you're not diving into dumpsters to rescue thrown-out pet food, you can hold corporations accountable by taking your business elsewhere. Look for stores with more eco-friendly policies — often smaller, local establishments.

You can even switch to a greener brand of pet food, such as one that uses insect protein.

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