Written by PETA
Killer birds from PetSmart. It sounds like a reimagined version of Hitchcock's The Birds or maybe Troma's follow-up film to Poultrygeist, but it's a true, tragic story. A bird-loving family from Corpus Christi, Texas, reportedly lost their beloved father—and the daughter almost lost her life—after they both contracted psittacosis from a cockatiel whom they had purchased at PetSmart and named Peachy. Check out the Associated Press Article here if you don't want to take my word for it.
Peachy, who also died, allegedly from this "parrot fever," was bred at Rainbow World Exotics, a breeding mill that PETA recently investigated, where we found rampant abuse and neglect of small animals and exotic birds. Bird-breeding facilities such as Rainbow World Exotics are no different than puppy mills—they're massive animal factories that crank out birds with no regard for their health, happiness, or individual best interests. It doesn't just hurt the birds when unsanitary, inhumane conditions are the norm.
The good news is that this heroic and forever scarred family is now standing up to PetSmart and demanding an end to the sale of all birds. And you can help them succeed!
And please read this important info about how to keep you and your bird safe.
Angel's Story: Another PetSmart Casualty
The following open letter is a response to this letter.
Dear Best Week Ever, We really appreciate that you shared your suggestion with us about tiny footwear being the key to convincing people not to eat animals anymore. I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner. Your idea is genius.B.W.E., we couldn't agree more that upping the cute factor to nearly vomit-inducing levels is a tactic that perhaps we should try more often in order to dissuade people from eating animals. And we're going to start now. We are adding "provide boots to all chickens" to our list of demands for KFC. Sure, it might not be the most pressing issue the twisted corporation needs to address (they should probably focus on fixing the whole scalding birds alive thing and preventing future rat infestations), but every little bit helps!In addition to cuteness, there's also the practical value of wearing boots while crammed in pens or sheds with zillions of other animals. Unsurprisingly, those floors aren't too clean and even Britney Spears wouldn't be caught barefoot in a factory farm. OK, maybe she would, but little chicks shouldn't be. Not to mention that the boots will provide extra ankle support for chicks and make it harder to hang them upside-down in shackles.Again, thanks for the great suggestion and we'll be sure to keep you posted on the status of our new "Chicks for Boots" campaign. Regards,The PETA Staff
Update: You can watch the Today Show segment about this investigation here.
As you may have noticed from the front page of our site, PETA released the details today of a major investigation into a PetSmart supplier in Texas. You can learn more about that investigation on our brand-new PetSmart Campaign website. The whole thing is pretty disturbing, but the footage depicting the treatment of a baby Goffin’s cockatoo named Angel is utterly devastating. From the beginning of Angel’s “life,” which was spent in solitary confinement, until an agonizing death after four months wasting away from an untreated disease, Angel’s experience was characterized solely by suffering. It’s difficult to watch, but this video should be mandatory viewing for anyone who has ever considered buying a bird from a pet store.
You can contact PetSmart and ask them to immediately end all animal sales through the web form here.
It’s too bad that it required an outbreak of a disease that’s contagious to humans for PetSmart to make this decision, but this is something we’ve been asking the pet store chain to do for a long time now. According to The Huntsville Times PetSmart has stopped selling birds in all of its stores for the moment while it looks into the outbreak of psittacosis that has affected the birds it gets from various suppliers. And now that they’ve taken this step of removing these animals from the sales floor, we want to do everything we can to make sure things stay that way. One has to wonder what is happening with all of the sick birds as we speak?
Like all animals exploited by the pet trade, exotic birds sold at pet stores like PetSmart are raised in conditions that are designed to be the most profitable for breeders, which means that they are often crowded inside sheds, barns, and garages without any regard for their basic needs or the dangers of spreading infection and disease. No one should be surprised when this sort of thing happens in a pet store. It should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about birds—the very symbol of freedom—that keeping them confined in cages is cruel in the extreme, and PetSmart should never have been selling these wild animals in the first place. You can click here to learn more about our campaign against PetSmart and contact the company about its lousy track record of animal sales.
According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, 20 different Petsmart stores in 11 Seattle counties may have sold birds with avian chlamydiosis, which can pose a serious health risk to people who are exposed to the animals.
The threat of a nasty disease is a pretty great reason not to buy a bird from Petsmart, but it’s not the main reason. People shouldn’t buy birds from Petsmart because birds don’t belong in cages. All caged birds were either captured or captive-bred. In the wild, they spend their entire lives with their flockmates, and many species mate for life and share parenting tasks. Considering that some parrots fly 30 miles a day in the wild, it’s no surprise that these animals often develop severe behavioral problems when they’re stuck in a cage for life.
Click here to tell PetSmart to just stop it already.
I honestly don't know how these people get their licenses, but a Florida avian veterinarian named Susan Clubb has just made the astounding decision to auction off 600 exotic birds she's been using for breeding. Apparently (I wish I were kidding about this), Dr. Clubb is selling the animals because she “needs the money” as a result of a divorce. Leaving aside for a second the question of why anyone would consider divorcing a woman who likes to exploit sick birds and sell them to the highest bidder, we need to get this auction stopped right now. You can learn more about the whole sordid affair here, and we've included contact information so that you can ask her to reconsider this supremely lousy idea. Please be polite if you do decide to contact her—the goal here is to help these abused animals, not to antagonize someone with an obvious compassion deficit.
With all this happy talk about Pam and Ingrid's birthday, I totally forgot to mention the fact that today is the very day, 21 years ago, that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were spawned. I figured that this would be an appropriate place for a tribute, so here goes:
Mary Kate and Ashley began their careers playing the nauseating baby on Full House and went on to be nauseating in their own right as the no-talent fur hags who are always ready to be the butt of a joke when the gossip press is looking for a punchline. In 2006, Ashley reached the pinnacle of her career by being singled out on PETA's annual Worst Dressed List with the comment: "Wearing fur does add 20 pounds, but if Ashley wants to fill out her frame, we suggest using a fork instead." Inspired by Ashley's achievement and, as usual, completely failing to grasp the point, the twins are condemning a new generation of animals to death this year for their aptly titled fashion label, The Row. Now that the terrible twins have finally reached the legal drinking age, the world is waiting with bated breath to see what they'll do next. Happy Birthday, the Olsen Twins. You guys really freak me out.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.