American Humane Continues to Overlook Cruelty, Certifies Petco as Its First ‘Pet’ Provider

Published by Elena Waldman.

Almost a decade after a groundbreaking investigation exposed American Humane (AH) for slapping misleading “No Animals Were Harmed ” credits on movies in which animals were, in fact, injured or killed, it appears that the organization hasn’t learned its lesson. Since the launch of its American Humane Certified (AHC) Pet Provider program, the first (and currently only ) AHC “pet” provider is a company that notoriously prioritizes profits over animal welfare: Petco.

PETA has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate AH for deceiving customers into thinking that AHC-accredited sellers prioritize animal welfare, when in reality, companies like Petco exploit other animals as if they were disposable merchandise.

American Inhumane Certified would be a more fitting name for the program.

AH’s standards for certification allow “pet” stores like Petco to cram animals in severely crowded cages, deny birds enough space to spread their wings, enclose amphibians in environments without surfaces to perch on, deny gerbils nesting material, and deprive mammals, birds, reptiles, and aquatic animals sufficient lighting.

The long history of animal suffering at Petco stores and its suppliers makes it even more evident that AH’s stamp of approval is meaningless. PETA undercover investigators, whistleblowers, and officials have found dead fish on store shelves, feces piling up in cages, sick animals suffering inside severely crowded containers, and reptiles deprived of proper heat at Petco stores, as well as dead animals being cannibalized in small tubs and animals gassed, frozen alive, or left for dead at Petco’s suppliers.

In 2021 at one Petco supplier, federal inspectors found severely dehydrated animals, animals in need of veterinary care, and decomposing and partially eaten animals in bins with live animals.

While Animals Suffer, American Humane Fills Its Pockets

Petco’s certification follows AH’s lucrative preexisting relationship with the company. Petco entities have long provided AH with financial support and resources, and the two organizations share several executive connections, including AH’s chief veterinary officer, who was Petco’s former vice president of veterinary medicine.

Adopt, Don’t Shop—Speak Up for Animals Suffering at Petco

We’ve long known that AH’s stamp of approval is meaningless, and the agency’s move to certify Petco just adds to its reputation of corruption. Never buy from Petco or any other place that breeds or sells animals. You can speak up for animals suffering at Petco by taking action below:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind