Live Reindeer Disappear From Local Home Decor Store After PETA Appeal

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Reinholds, Pa.

After hearing from PETA that holiday displays are anything but merry for sensitive reindeer—who become confused and worried by strange surroundings and crowds, not to mention being transported to them—House on Willow took the compassionate step of pledging not to host events with reindeer again as it has in the past.

“The holiday will be brighter for wildlife now that House on Willow has given live-reindeer displays the old heave-ho-ho-ho,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA urges any stores tempted to exhibit animals of any species this winter to celebrate with animal-free decor.”

Reindeer are herd animals who naturally forage, socialize, and travel up to 1,000 miles during their annual migration through the tundra. When used in holiday displays, they’re trucked from one event to the next, roughly handled, restrained or strapped to sleighs, and forced into public interactions. At one event in Colorado, a reindeer got so spooked that she escaped, only to be recaptured after spending a day and night running through city streets. Reindeer are also sensitive to sudden changes in diet, but visitors at these events are often encouraged to feed them unhealthy foods: In 2020, a young reindeer at a Christmas tree farm died after a visitor fed him bread and sweets.

Wild animals also pose a risk to public health and safety: Reindeer can transmit numerous diseases—such as rabies, salmonellosis, sarcoptic mange, and ringworm—to humans. In 2017, an intern at an Illinois reindeer supplier sustained serious injuries that required surgery when a bull reindeer pushed her against a fence and punctured her with his antlers.

House on Willow joins other companies and communities that have banned live-reindeer displays after hearing from PETA, including Camp Abbot Trading Co., a general store in Oregon; Stauffers of Kissel Hill, a home-and-garden store chain in Pennsylvania; and the city of Ferndale, Michigan.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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