Petco Announces an End to All Rabbit Sales
November 17, 2008 – House Rabbit Society (HRS) is delighted to announce that PETCO has decided to cease its sale of rabbits in all PETCO stores. PETCO will begin phasing rabbits out of its stores immediately and as of early 2009, the only rabbits available at PETCO stores should be rabbits from shelters or rescue organizations.
HRS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing rabbits and educating the public about proper rabbit care, blames thousands of cases of rabbit neglect, abandonment, and euthanasia on impulse purchases of rabbits at pet stores.
Because PETCO is one of the largest pet supply chains in the United States, its decision to stop all rabbit sales will have an enormous impact on the plight of surplus and homeless rabbits in this country, and HRS applauds PETCO’s intelligent decision.
HRS also applauds the work of animal welfare groups around the country who have been urging PETCO for years to stop the sale of rabbits, birds, and other animals in their stores. The work of these groups has no doubt played an important part in PETCO’s decision. In addition, local rabbit rescue groups have also been instrumental in this decision, through their work in establishing rabbit adoption programs in their local communities, and ending the sale of rabbits in those regions with adoption programs.
As the world’s largest rabbit rescue organization, and with a website that gets over a million hits per week, House Rabbit Society has played a leading role in rescuing and placing abandoned rabbits around the world. As of 2008, HRS volunteers have rescued over 20,000 rabbits, the vast majority of whom were originally purchased through pet stores and breeders.
HRS encourages PETCO to reach out to animal rescue groups and animal shelters all across the country in order to help those organizations adopt out their homeless rabbits, birds, and small animals. PETCO can, and should, play a leading role in rehoming, rather than selling, adoptable animals in all of their stores, and HRS hopes that PETCO will use responsible criteria in screening adopters, and providing them with educational materials.