PHOENIX—Retail chain PetSmart Inc. came under fire this week after a police investigation revealed the company’s loose background-screening process had allowed a deranged gerbil to slip through the cracks and be sold to a Los Angeles family, despite the rodent having reportedly exhibited sociopathic tendencies such as hoarding pellets, maniacally shredding wood chips, and hiding itself away in dark holes. “We wish to extend our deepest apologies to Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and their children, as well as commend them for catching the early warning signs of their pet’s psychosis and turning the animal over to authorities,” PetSmart public relations manager Jeff Davis said of the unhinged gerbil, who according to family members exhibited extensive troubling behavior, often squeaking to itself late into the night and then shitting all over the house. “Though we at PetSmart remain humbled by this unfortunate incident, we would like to assure animal lovers everywhere that thorough background checks are paramount in our screening process, and that we carefully review each animal’s credit history, criminal record, and social media use prior to its sale.” Davis added that the mishap was the first of its kind at the company since 2003, when a store accidentally sold a goldfish with a history of suicidal ideation.