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PETCO Ends Rabbit Sales

Written by PETA | November 19, 2008
DailyHamster / CC

OK, so a bit of good news for bunnies. For years, PETA has been pushing PETCO to end the sale of animals in its stores. This week, the company finally announced that it will no longer sell rabbits in it stores. The phase-out begins immediately. By early 2009, the only rabbits at PETCO will come from animal shelters or rescue organizations. Mad props to the House Rabbit Society, whose efforts helped make this happen!

This is an important step in the right direction, because dogs and cats aren’t the only animals left homeless in mass numbers by breeder- and “pet” industry–driven overpopulation. Rabbits are often bought on the spur of the moment—especially at Easter—by people who are unprepared for the huge responsibility of caring for them. By working with shelters and rescue societies to adopt rabbits instead of selling them, PETCO has joined a number of other companies that have already made the responsible decision not to add to the bunny overpopulation crisis.

But still …

PETCO, like PetSmart, continues to sell countless other animals who are bred, born, and warehoused in cruel animal mills such as Rainbow World Exotics (RWE). We met with PETCO last January before breaking our RWE investigation to show its representatives footage of the horrific conditions we found during our investigation at RWE. Though PETCO pledged to make some improvements, it continues to buy small animals from RWE.

RWE and other suppliers are so awful, and animal shelters and rescues are bursting at the seams with animals of all shapes and sizes. We hope that PETCO will continue to move in the right direction and soon stop selling all animals in its stores—and that PetSmart, Petland, and others will follow in PETCO’s footsteps.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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  • Kate says:

    Petland is much, much worse than Petco. I have seen Petland stores that are tiny and still hold tons of pets. It makes me sad how they keep the animals there like they are merchandise. Petco isn’t horrible, although the company is stupid, I know people who work there and the conditions are better than Petland. Plus, they do have rescues and shelters that come in with animals up for adoption quite often.

  • Margo says:

    I think that exotic animals belong in the wild where they are free to roam and lead the lives they were intended to not like prisoners in somebody’s house.

  • John Kliewer says:

    I am thinking that this is great but as for not selling animals at all. Only sheltered animals. I do not see that feasible or possible. Yes everyone wants to save the little furry animals that they think are so cute. But what about the scaly ones who need those furry ones to survive? If petco and petsmart started selling only rescues then how could a snake owner rely on them to have a mouse for their snakes’ meals?

  • Mac says:

    why is that most tend to think if they go into a store and that store is run by IDIOTS that ALL of the stores are run by IDIOTS??? I worked retail for the better part of 20 years you can’t generalize a company based on 1 or 2 locations… In most cases it’s an Managerwho happens to be an IDIOT who hires people to work the store but may not be up to keeping the store at a good image to the customer… The Petco by where I live tries to make sure whoever they hire has “animal experience” so they are better able to help people buy an animal that may not be thinking about just HOW MUCH timecare will be involved… My wife I used to raise hamsters as a sort of “therapy” for me after a store I was working at the time failed to follow through on a promise they had made me just prior to a medical leave due to a back injury I had suffered… I was in a deep depression my wife knew that whenever we’d be at the local pet stores picking up supplies for our dog birds that I’d usually go into the small animal sections ‘talk’ with the hamstersmice other ‘furry’ critters there how I’d be happier than when we first gone into the stores… I know our Petco tends to recommend to people buying an animal for the 1st time to ‘read up’ on the type of animal they want before buying to be sure it’s a ‘good fit’ for animalowner… Especially if the animal is being bought for a small child… Also our Petco most of the time will have anywhere from 1 5 animals “up for adoption” in addition to the regular animals they sell… We’ve adopted any number of these from time to time as long as we had the space available for them to make sure they went to a good home… Unfortunately as my health has gotten worse over the past few years we’ve had to stop doing this as our animals have gotten older passed on to the next life… Also just because a place is calling itself a “shelter” doesn’t always mean the animals are better off… I’ve been in some “shelters” that are as bad or worse than some of the retail stores people have been going on about… But it all comes down to the same thing having the RIGHT KIND of PERSON taking care of the animals…

  • Debbie says:

    I purchased 2 bunnies from Petco in Sept 08. They seem to be healthy and happy. One is very friendly with people and the other is shy but does ok. I am glad I got them rather than someone who may not care for them properly. They did tell me the bunnies had been there for months apparently unsold.

  • Jazmin says:

    I don’t believe them this sounds so familiar. Haven’t they promised similar things then gone back on that promise? They suck should be shut down forever. We the idiot consumers are the ones keeping them open prosperous.

  • whitney says:

    i am so glad that they are not going to sell rabbits anymore as a person who owns and shows rabbits i was appalled at how the rabbits at my local petco were treated. the rabbits were in small cages sold neuteredwhich in rabbit competitions is considered a disqualificationand were $70 get a good rabbit from a breeder for half the price and they had no sign what breed the rabbit was nor did anyone workign there have any idea about rabbits and these “purebred” rabbits were obviously mixbreed.

  • Alicia says:

    I personaly dont like PETCO either even though I do not support PETA on most things. The PETCOs I have been in have been dirty and they dont take good care of their animals the cages are dirty. Rabbits on the other hand I have raised for 15 years as show and pets. Mostly show rabbits. They do not require the intinse care some may think all they require is clean food an 18 cup per pound of rabbit in the evening and a fresh supply water at all times. I used to keep my rabbits in their cages next to each other so they could intercat and they all had toys in their cages. I was a breeder of good healthy happy rabbits that won in the show ring and I am proud of it. Alicia

  • BungieMungie says:

    YES we should all call Petcocan someone post the number to call and tell them that we appreciate their not selling rabbits and we hope they will extend their ban to all live animals. I understand that they will have rescued animals. Who will be qualified to dosupervise those adoptions??

  • Deb says:

    It’s a start. I live with 3 house bunnies and to me they’re like children. You need to be a qualified parent before you should take on the responsibility of raising them. I’ve had house bunnies all my life and I can tell you from 40+ years of experience they are the most loving and devoted friends you could ever have. It pains me to see them in these shops and on the menu in restaurants not to mention what’s in labs and some gruesome YouTube videos of snakes eating baby bunnies. I don’t know what how why… I don’t understand. I know these people are just not the same as you and me. Something’s missing there. They aren’t going to choose to stop treating animals this way on their own. They can’t have a change of heart when there isn’t a heart in there to begin with. It’s up to us to apply neverending pressure to protect these precious and sweet little ones.

  • Kirsten says:

    It’s a start…but its a good start. At least they are fianlly listening and taking action for the good. Now if only they could take these sort of measures with the other animals that suffer.

  • Carla says:

    Ours up here is Petland… a death sentence for animals!!! Pet Valu… they only adopt out recues their food options include vegan meals for cats and dogs wonderful! And the people who work there are always warm and friendly just beautiful people!!! Now if Petco and places like Petland can do the same… Hallelujah!!!

  • Shadow608 says:

    It’s a small step but definitely in the right direction. Now if they will stop selling all the other cute little critters and provide adoption placing in the stores for the guinea pigs mice hamsters fish reptiles spiders etc… THAT would be FABULOUS!!

  • Wendy says:

    This IS a great start and it about time. It’s crazy to sell rabbits like this and get them as a pet on a whim! They are very smart loving sometimes extremely silly animals that do require a lot of gentle care. These are long term pets that have a high standard to keep them healthy. Not to mention the spade and neutering costs involved with getting a young rabbit. The care info that PETCO gives out on these fragile animals is almost all wrong! These are not a pet for children at anytime. I do encourage PETCO’s effort. Thank you PETCO.

  • Anita50882 says:

    I know they still suck but we should send them a thank you for taking this step. If they recognize rabbits it’s a step in the right path. We’ve given them alot of negative press but we can encourage them to continue going the right way by telling them that we appreciate their efforts. I hope one day there are only rescues in Petco and Petsmart.

  • Paws says:

    Well it’s a start. I just wished they’d done that in the first place. It’s ridiculous what humans do and have done. We can only ask ourselves why?

  • mlo says:

    it’s a start…..I am already boycotting them and will continue to do so until they care.