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PetSmart Puts Rabbits in Harms Way

Written by PETA | September 1, 2007

PetSmart_animal_sales.jpgAbout seven years ago, PetSmart CEO Phillip Francis made a commitment not to sell rabbits in PetSmart stores because of the high numbers of bunnies who are dumped in shelters after the novelty of an impulse purchase wears off. “Our brand name stands for ethics, quality, health and good care for animals and we’re always willing to forego the short run marginal sale because our standards are higher and our ethics are little bit better,” he said. Well, either that was an empty promise or else PetSmart Corporate decided it was a good business decision to lower their ethical standards in the intervening years, since the company has announced that it will start selling rabbits in its stores, despite the thousands of rabbits who are abandoned to die in shelters every year.

As you probably know, we’re pretty unhappy with the company as it is, based on their lousy record of animal care and their refusal to stop selling animals in the first place. So we sent our own bunny to sort them out. Check out the pics below, and an article about the protest here. And you can write to PetSmart about this issue at

N.B. Please note that I was able to avoid using the phrase “hopping mad” throughout this entire post. I feel like I deserve some credit for showing such considerable restraint.


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  • bunny lover says:

    my friend has a pet bunny named daisy, and i love bunnies. it is sort of upsetting that one of the most best petstores, petsmart, doesn’t sell bunnies or rabbit supplies, but you know. life isn’t always how you want it to be. so chin up and help these sick bunnies!

  • concerned says:

    So because bunnies are mistreated and end up in shelters its petsmarts fault? That is completely ridiculous. The petsmart in my town doesn’t even sell bunnies and they havent since the day they opened 3 years ago! Grow up and HELP BUNNIES FIND HOMES instead of wasting your time pointing fingers at those who dont deserve it. Stores are at least finding the bunnies homes what are YOU doing?

  • Crystal says:

    Halo Snipe Rabbits would not be such a problem if it were not for places like PetSmart selling them like stuff animals and if people only used their heart head when bringing any pet into their home. It is a life long commitment not one to make on a whim. Well you should know plenty about cockroaches your place is probably crawling with them!!!

  • halo snipe says:

    Rabbits are so common and a nuisance that what is the point of fighting for a pest? Oh no now PETA is campaigning against cruelty to cockroaches!!!11!1!!

  • an associate says:

    As an employee of PetSmart I do take issue with this article. Yes I am aware that there are stores out there who do not care for the animals. But trust me more often than not they do. We are always taking sick animals to the vet sometimes spending more than 10 times the future pet parent will pay for the pet. More often than not a vet visit won’t be noted on the sick room log mostly due to forgetfulness but any treatment prescribed IS. Yes sometimes animal die. More often than not within a weeks time they are healthy and able to go to a new home. These animals tend to be adopted out for free depending on the situation as well. And yes sometimes employees can diagnose certain illnesses and treatments. Wet tail is very common and easily recognized and so is infection from cuts resulting in a fight with a littermate. Taking an animal into the vet for these minor and temporary ailmentif treated properly as we do at our store wouldn’t be costeffective and pointless given we sell many of the treatments in our store. If the situation gets serious of course they go. I guess what I’m getting at is just because the ONE store you visited wasn’t up to par doesn’t mean all or most aren’t as well. PeTA I work at the store 2nd closest from your Norfolk headquarters. I dare you try to find something wrong with our pet care department.

  • Anonymous says:

    Leila why should i go to the pound and get a dog yes i have a purebred your the animal lover yet instead of a one of you rescueing an animal most of you critisize everyone else who has a pure bred ps hes from a rescue also i did my part step up and do yours and stop crying

  • Russell says:

    Hey Jake.. Animals don’t have voices so we have to be their voice you’ve heard the addage “Sex sells”? Those “playboy bunny” outfits certainly go your attention didn’t they? And if i hear one more person say that Vicks thing is racerelated I’m going to PUKE!!! IT”S DOG RELATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Jake Catch up! The hanson incident was WELL documented so maybe you should set as your home page so you can see the new stuff every day! hug an animal today

  • Jenn says:

    I don’t understand how a blog about Petsmart and the cruelty they causing with the rabbits has turned into an argument about Vick and racism. The point is that Petsmart is going against what it promised and is going to sell rabbits even though they know people abandon them and they end up in shelters where they die or worse just set free and they die. We should stick to the topic at hand. Peta is not a website or organization for racism complaints. It is for people who sincerly love and care for animals. NowI am not opposed to talking about Vicks situation but lets not bring the race card into it. The fact regarding him is that he mistreated and abused animals for financial gain and it should not be tolerated by any person in society regardless of their race religion culture etc. I am personally offended and quite sick of hearing people say that he didn’t know it was wrong because it is part of his culture being from the deep south. Well let me tell ya I am from the deep south too and I have never even thought about committing such a sadastic act on an animal nor have I been associated with people in my “culture” that would. We are certainly not taught that it is okay to engage in these acts. In my opinion it is just another excuse and way for him to try and justify his actions. Now back to the other topic I also think that the people who are putting down the peta protesters need to know their facts before opening their mouth. First they look nothing like a playboy bunny and even if they did who cares they aren’t trying to sell sex they are trying to protest and if they want to do it looking sexy then let them. For you to claim they still use animal products and protest for animal rights at the same time is completely ignorant. Obviously you are not aware that there are many many products out on the market that do not animal test or use animal products in them. Do a little research. I am sorry to those protesters who feel they didn’t need to defend themselves in the first place but I didn’t mind doing it for you. I think that this blog has gotten out of control because of people who are misinformed on such an important issue.

  • Brandon Harris says:

    Laura and Dee I am not even going to get into it with you because what you both say is nonsense.

  • Brandon Harris says:

    Laura and Dee You come on a proanimal rights website and try to stir it up. Chicken rabbit or any other meat for that matter is not good for you. Meat of any kind causes health problems such as heart disease diabetes and others. Vegetables are far more healthier than meat. Get a life and grow up.

  • Angelica says:

    Heyyyyyyyyy there! I just wanted to point out that this site is for animal lovers and for people who care about the ethical treatment of animals. If you dont like PETA then maybe you shouldnt be on this site go to a site thats anti peta or something and talk all the crap you want. But I dont see why someone has to take time out of their day to post comments to things they dont even care abouthate? If you dont care about it then dont talk about it. Do something more important. If you love chicken…. then go eat chicken with other people who love chicken and talk about the wonderful things you did that day. Dont talk about something you dont like whats the point? If peta doesnt put a smile on your face then why discuss it in the first place? p.s In the Journal Inquirer theres an AD placed giving a free elephant away apparently it’s trained to water lawns wash cars houses ect?!?! FREAKY yes. I know this is about PETSMART but I just wanted to let people know so you can help this elephant and take it out of its misery. Call 6460500. I mean I think most of us can agree here an elephant should NOT be watering someones lawn! Im not sure how to help it myself if I knew I would.. but I figured someone here would know! If anyone knows how please do

  • observer says:

    THANK YOU LEILA!!!! THANK YOU FOR THE SAKE OF THE ANIMALS!!! that’s right leila!!!! you do NOT have to defend yourself!!! doing good things like you do doesn’t have to be defended. you have a good heart!!! ONLY THE IGNORANT ONES PROBABLY JEALOUS TOO GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO DESPERATELY TRY TO DEFEND THEIR ROTTEN WAYS WITH THEIR DUMB COMMENTS!!!

  • Jake B says:

    httpstarbulletin.com20070808newsstory03.hLIHUE A Kauai resident whose Anahola property was described as a “canine Auschwitz” by prosecutors received a sixmonth jail term for animal cruelty yesterday. Kauai resident Steve Cummings pleaded guilty in May to 20 counts of animal cruelty for leaving his 20 hunting dogs without food or water in December. Three died and the other 17 had to be nursed back to health by Kauai Humane Society officials. But Cummings 48 said yesterday that he loved his dogs was “truly sorry for what happened” and that the deaths were a tragic mistake. Cummings had planned a trip to Las Vegas and asked a relative to look after the dogs while he was gone his lawyer Brandon Flores said yesterday. His return was postponed but Cummings figured the relative would continue to feed the dogs. He or she did not. TOM FINNEGAN TFINNEGANSTARBULLETIN.COM Steve Cummings was consoled by relatives yesterday after receiving a sixmonth jail sentence for animal cruelty. CLICK FOR LARGE The canines pit bull Airedale and hound mixes were left without food and water for 16 days Flores added. County Deputy Prosecutor Stewart Merdian however painted a different picture of events and Cummings’ culpability. The decomposition of one dog left in a cage likely took months judging by the skeleton he said. And if not for a call from a neighbor all the dogs would have been dead within another week. Three of the dogs were so emaciated they would have died within 24 hours Humane Society officials told prosecutors. “There was a death camp on Kauai” Merdian said. “This was a canine Auschwitz.” Auschwitz was a concentration camp run by Nazi Germany in Poland during World War II. No relative has ever come forward to corroborate Cummings’ story Merdian added. Flores however countered that the decomposition of the dog could have taken place within a few weeks. Also Cummings refused to identify the person who didn’t feed his dogs to keep the person from being vilified in the media since he “was tired of being treated poorly in the press” himself his lawyer said. District Judge Trudy Senda imposed the sixmonth jail sentence because she said of the severity of the offenses and Cummings’ apparent lack of concern for the dogs. Senda relying on Humane Society reports said Cummings was notified Dec. 6 that his dogs had been found near death or dead. Cummings didn’t see his dogs until the next day at the Humane Society. Cummings is “not a killer” Flores said. He cares for his dogs he wanted them back and he was willing to pay for their care even after he was arrested and the dogs were removed he added. He also agreed to pay the Humane Society $12150 for nursing the dogs back to health. tml

  • Jake B says:

    OXFORD Ohio A man who was convicted of animal cruelty will be allowed to get his dog back but he must follow a list of conditions to care for the animal. Otis Clark of Somerville pleaded no contest last month to charges related to the abuse of his 2yearold dog China and he petitioned to get it back. The dog was found with a chain so deeply imbedded in its neck it required surgery to remove it. The wound was so infected it cleared the office out said Jim Wolfe a volunteer at the animal shelter. The smell was terrible. Judge Robert Lyons allowed Clark to care for the dog provided that it is licensed and is not tied up. Read the judge’s requirements The dog also must be checked every 90 days by a veterinarian and if Clark does not comply with the judges orders he will be considered in violation of his probation. Clark must read a book on dog care given to him by the court and is subject to random home visits by a probation officer. If he violates the terms of his probation Clark must forfeit the dog and would face up to 180 days in jail. Animal activists are angry that Clark was able to get the dog back blaming the prosecutor and judge for engaging in a “closed door” deal with Clark. It was outrageous and incredible that a judge would give somebody like that back a dog when they didn’t even take car of it to begin with said animal lover Garri Guecking. Prosecutors said they objected to returning the dog to Clark but were bound to respect the judges decision. However Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said Monday afternoon that he would refer the case to the appellate division in hopes of having the decision overturned. httpwww.wlwt.comnews13826440detail.html August 2007 is that new enough for you?

  • Leila says:

    Hi I was one of the bunnies… and I do not USE any products that are tested on animals nor do I eat them. But i do not need to defend myselfthis issue is about the NUMEROUS animals rabbits cats dogs and many more DYING in shelters because people are buying breeded animals instead of rescuing them. Many people are not even aware of the problem AKA vicious cycle… yet another reason I am out there…. to bring the issue to people’s attention. thank you Leila

  • Ana says:

    Laura and Dee Take you meds and get a life. Your blantantly stupid comments says more about you than you realize. Losers!! I am hoping that PetSmart changes their policy about selling rabbits and all animals in general. Adoptions only should take place in their store. Now that would be Smart!

  • DEE says:

    DAMN idiots look at the picture the makeup on there body was tested on animal. But save the animals right. So if you want to save the animals get rid of all your animals products not just the ones you dont need. MONEY MAKES THE WQRLD GO ROUND RIGHT???? You all have fat pockets right. And for the rabbits taste like chicken!!

  • Laura says:

    It’s not PetSmart’s fault that people treat bunnies or any animal for that matter cruely. It’s the people. Maybe they should think more before they buy pets. P.S. I love hamburgers and beef yet I won’t eat veal. Ironic lol. P.P.S. PETA’s crazy. I’m just to see how stupid you all are. Chicken is delicious and you know it!

  • Siraganda says:

    Jake B I seriously start to ask myself why some strange elements here want to make a racist issue out of these blogs! Everyone is posting here and we don’t see each other! I don’t care if the one who answers my statement is black white green or invisible! I find this attempt of discrediting an animal rights organization like Peta disgusting and racist! It’s a serious offence towards a honest animal protector who has nothing else in his head than the welfare of animals! And when during a discussion on this blog words like ‘Christian’ ‘Jew’ or ‘Muslim’ or ‘Chinese’ ‘AfricanAmerican’ and so on are used this has nothing to do with racism! these words belong to this planet and to our international heritage like ‘Hungarian’ ‘Italian’ or ‘Swiss’ or ‘Communist’ or ‘Capitalist’ and have nothing to do with any allegations to racism and I hope that once and for all this shall be clear here and that nobody posting here shall restart with it on the next page! Thank you!

  • Tamara says:

    BTW do you have tshirts like the PetsMart logo with the dead bird? If you don’t get them NOW! I want one!!

  • Tamara says:

    Some use the race card to divert from the real issue. That was illegal dogfighting and cruel torture of dogs. That said I wish PETA would get on Petsmart about its selling of ALL small animals and birds. But if it turns out the way your PETCO campaign did the animals will get sold out.

  • observer says:


  • Steve says:

    Honestly the PETA bunnies don’t seem to be trying to be Playboy bunnies. They’re holding signs that cover their private bunny parts after all. Sexy perhaps but not sexist.

  • carolyn says:

    jake sadly it has become a racial thing and it stupid it should be about the animals but yet their are so many racial slurs going around we should focus on everyone who commits a animal cruelty crime not just vick cause there are alot of vicks in this world that should be prosecuted as well

  • keith says:

    Good Point ” Jake B ” Double Standards should never be tolerated.

  • Ana says:

    This is about selling rabbits at PetSmart and how unethical it is. I am glad PETA is protesting the sale of bunnies when so many die in shelters or worse are let loose only to suffer even more. Thanks PETA for calling attention to this. Al Sharpton came out and said he is opposed to dog fighting and decried the violence the dogs endure. He said this right after Vick was indicted. THE RACE CARD IS SO OLD!!!!!! BLAH BLAH BLAH. And the NAACP isn’t racist??? The Hansons’ brutality has been addressed by animal advocates and still is.

  • kelly says:

    Jake B where have you been? This is old news it happened several years ago and Peta and other groups spoke out strongly about the Hanson hoarding situation! It sounds like you need to get INVOLVED in animal rescue and welfare instead of sitting around attempting to point fingers You sound out of touch and off in your own world

  • Jake B says:

    Since I can’t seem to find a general comment area for peta I will comment here. First of all I don’t know why these women would dress up like playboy bunnies. It defeats the purpose. Why not regular bunny suits. You can even throw in some easter eggs printed with your protest. But this is about peta’s ongoing section about Michael Vick. Even though people have stopped commenting on MV I still see the links that have stirred up racist comments on all kinds of blogs because he is Black. There is the ongoing stereotype that all Black people are behind Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I and others don’t agree with everything they do or say but when they marched to get rid of lynchings outright murders by white people bombing and arson of churches by white people that was the right thing not violence by the kkk nonviolence eventhough the police didn’t protect them. NOW let’s see if peta can give equal time to this story about the hansons who are white. What they did destroying the trust of Katrina victims was just as sick. So step up to the plate peta. The Hansons were arrested and charged with a Class A animal cruelty misdemeanor which is punishable of fines up to $1000 and up to one year in jail. The Hansons were also banned from the property by a judge until November 17th so that animal rescue groups could recover the dogs they had sent to EDNAH after rescuing them from the hurricanes. Volunteers from the Humane Society of North Central Arkansas are taking care of the animals that remain on site. One volunteer reports that at least 12 of the dogs had not been let out of their cages since they were brought to EDNAH after the hurricanes. Another volunteer reports that when he went to change the litter for 2 young gray cats there was an inch and a half of crudfeces and urinewith maggots in the litter box in their cage. The conditions at the facility were a nightmare. Dogs were found standing in their own filth. Many of the dogs were aggressive because their paws were burning and bleeding and in pain. When Tammy Hanson was released on bail she reportedly told a local newspaper that the dogs were being cared for that the cages were being cleaned daily and that the animals were being fed and watered daily. Tammy Hawley a program coordinator for the HSUS Southwest Regional Office has been deputized by the Baxter County Sheriffs Office to be the incident commander of the emergency sheltering team. The team consists of expert volunteers and trained dog handlers from the HSUS Pasado Safe Haven the ASPCA the American Humane Association the United Animal Nations and the North Central Arkansas Humane Society. In 10 days these volunteers have built dozens of new dog runs fed watered walked and provided emergency veterinary care for the hundreds of animals. Theyve even built a maternity ward to house the new mothers and nearly 20 puppies. They are in their own pens on clean blankets and out of the chilling air and rain with fresh food and water. Best of all they no longer have to compete with some 30 other dogs for food and water. Many of the animals are on antibiotics for persistent infections others are being treated for parasites both internal and external advanced heartworm fight injuries and abscessed wounds. The goal is to have all the dogs vetted microchipped and photographed. The photos will be posted at to give owners a chance to identify their animals. As this casefile was being written the Baxter Sheriffs Department is trying to get the Hansons to surrender all of the animals before the case goes to trial. go to http://www.inhumane.orgdataTWHanson.htm and see pictures of the abusers and pictures of the abused animals that were supposed to be taken care of while the Katrina victims rebuild their lives. OH BY THE WAY THE HANSONS ARE WHITE! let’s see your protests now in good ole Louisiana where the police block Black people from fleeing the hurricane blasted city of New Orleans with guns no less. I bet they would have let the animals pass. Where are you? Where are your protests against the hansons that will probably only serve a year in jail? bigots!