There were many aspects of the arrangement described to me that I found irresponsible, @NaughtyNibbler. I don't know how far this "arrangement" extends to other Petsmarts here or elsewhere, but I found it disturbing. AFAIK, shelters and rescues in the DMV have the same requirement of pre adoption s/n and vaccinations as you describe. (I don't always agree with the policy, but I understand the AC impetus behind it). What's going on in the particular store that I visited had me scratching my head.California has a law that dogs and cats have to be altered before adoption from an animal shelter, humane society or rescue group. Sounds like things are different in DC and other states as well. Probably can't compare California Petsmarts with states that don't have to comply with our laws (nanny state).
Unless some kittens were too young to start vaccinations, it would be irresponsible to not vaccinate.
FWIW, I've rarely seen dog/puppy adoption events at that store and, frankly, I'm hoping that that continues. At least, until they get a better handle on whatever it is that they're doing with the cats/kittens ---- several of whom were clearly old enough for s/n.
ETA. As far as CA AB 485 is concerned, AR/PETA groups are clearly winning what I find to be their unsavory agenda-based PR campaign. Yes, it's questionable legislation, at best, with little apparent thought given to its long-term implications. But, what's most concerning to me is the hamfisted direction in which it seems to be moving. (Per the AR/PETA agenda to which I alluded above). Because of that direction, I also fear that unless reputable (as distinct from 'professional') breeders and dog owners band together and push back significantly, none of us will be animal owners in the future --- and that result will have little to do with the quality of care that we can and do offer.