PETA Presses Petco to End Live Animal Sales

For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

San Diego – “When will Petco stop selling animals?” That’s the question a PETA representative and former Petco employee—who says that the suffering she witnessed there led her to a career in animal protection—will ask executives at the company’s virtual annual meeting of shareholders on Wednesday. PETA snatched up stock in Petco in January in order to address its executives directly. The group will also add to the pressure when a PETA member, bodypainted to look like a snake and confined to a cramped tank to mimic the cruel conditions that snakes endure, protests outside a Petco store near the company’s San Diego headquarters. Fellow protesters will hold signs urging the company to shed cruelty.

When:    Wednesday, July 21, 12 noon–1 p.m.

Where:    Petco, 11160 Rancho Carmel Dr., San Diego

“Petco must stop lining its shelves with sentient beings, leaving them to suffer and die in painful ways,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is on the streets and in the boardroom to tell the company that enough is enough.”

PETA’s investigations have revealed rampant abuse in the pet trade, including at dealers that supply animals to Petco. Betta fish gasped for air on waterless trays at farms in Thailand before enduring days of international transport to arrive at U.S. Petco stores, where they’re confined to tiny plastic cups. At Atlanta-based Sun Pet Ltd., hundreds of guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, birds, and other small animals were roughly handled; held in small, filthy cages; and killed in violent ways, including by being gassed and bashed against a table.

PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s full question is available here. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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