Animal Rescue Groups Angered By PetSmart Selling Rabbits

PetSmart

PetSmart began breeding and selling dwarf rabbits in 25 of their stores nationwide in July. The company could increase it to 40 of its stores depending on the reactions from customers.

Except, PetSmart’s move to sell rabbits is not making animal rescue groups happy at all.

Some animal shelters and rescue organizations are threatening to end their partnerships with the company. They say that PetSmart’s move leads to more overpopulation of rabbits. They also say that the company is reneging on a previous commitment to not sell specific pets like kittens, puppies, and rabbits. Animal rescue groups fear that some of these rabbits will end up in shelters when people grow tired of caring for them.

The company says that even though they have started selling rabbits, they will not be selling dogs or cats.

“We certainly don’t doubt that there are rabbits in shelters that need homes,” PetSmart spokeswoman Jennifer Ericsson said. “But we also know that there are people seeking pets that have been bred and want to have that pet from the start,” she said.

Several PetSmart customers have expressed their disagreement with the company’s new move. They say that they had hoped that the company control what they sell in their store. They say that people need to be responsible pet owners and not just buy a pet because of an impulse.

The rabbits are selling for $99.99 and they are all spayed and neutered. Customers will also be able to return the pets within 14 days of purchase. The company also says that it plans to hold off on rabbit sales during the two weeks before Easter.

One animal rescue group has already taken a stand against PetSmart.

The Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue has suspended its adoptions with PetSmart. The organization says it will suspend its partnership with the company as long as they sell rabbits.

A spokesperson for the organization feels that rabbits are just the start, and that they believe that selling kittens and puppies will soon follow.

PetSmart says that the number of rabbit surrenders to a shelter is very small compared to dogs and cats. Based on their data, only 2,000 bunnies have been adopted from their stores in the past 2 years. They had a total of 730,000 adoptions of all animals in that same time period.

Ericsson said that animal rescue agencies should not suspend their adoptions at a PetSmart store simply because of rabbits being sold. She said that these organizations will cut off one of the ways of adopting out their pets.

For the House Rabbit Society, they expect to stop doing business with local PetSmarts, but it is a tough decision.

“Do we continue to avail (the animals) to the local store that’s been helpful to us?” she asked. “(Or) do you want to send a larger message to the corporation?”

Source: AZCentral.com

36 Responses to “Animal Rescue Groups Angered By PetSmart Selling Rabbits”

  1. Lynne says:

    Bad move, PetSmart. Their contact info is here:
    19601 N. 27th Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85027
    Phone: 623-580-6100
    Fax: 623-580-6183
    Toll Free: 800-738-1385
    More here:
    http://www.hoovers.com/petsmar.....heet.xhtml

  2. Gayle Phillips says:

    Another small animal to be mauled by small, enthusiastic children that may or may not have been taught how to handle the bunny. Very bad move Petsmart.

  3. nora says:

    Probably attmepting to make up for the loss of business that resulted from the Dog and Cat food tainting and of course some poor innocent gentle creature takes the brunt of Pet Smart’s attempt at recouping losses. I still consider Pet Smart and Petco “Purveyors of Death”. No money from me since March 2007 for any commercial dog or cat foods that either of them sell. I will not shop there again for any food sources. I was feeding 4 dogs and 2 cats and used to spend CONSIDERABLE money at both places on a monthly basis on “Ultra Premium Pet Foods” . NO MORE. Those poor Bunnies being purchased by people who really don’t know how to care for any animal and it also leaves them open to any form of awful abuse and neglect! SHAME ON YOU PETSMART.

  4. catmom5 says:

    You can add my name to the list of former customers ~ and with five cats I buy a lot of cat food, supplies, etc. NO MORE! This is a money making proposition, pure and simple. I’m really beginning to not like the pet industry businesses very much . . . they seem to be all about profits and nothing about the animals. SAD, very sad.

  5. Scratch says:

    Rabbits are #3 stray in the country. I have been rescuing rabbits for 25 years. There are many bunnies of all ages for adoption. They make bad pets for young children who love to chase after them. There is tremendous power in their rear legs with large claws that can badly scratch a child’s face. They are prey animals and when chased by a child they are in fear they will be eaten. Bad move PetSmart. Hope you get sued and loose lots of business.

  6. Herb says:

    I think rabbits are good pets and my daughter got hers as a little bunny when she was 9. As with any other pet you have to teach children what responsibilities go with it. If she had not gotten it so young they would not have bonded as well and it is likely he would have been more aggressive. Rabbits are extraordinarily intelligent and can be easily box-trained. He is equal in intelligence to our 4 cats and 1 poodle and play well with the other animals. I seldom go to pet stores anyway, so it makes little difference to me, but I say if they can sell them, go ahead, it’s their business. If you extremists make it rough on their pocketbooks, well that’s their business, too.

  7. Lynne says:

    “I say if they can sell them, go ahead, it’s their business.”

    That’s a lot like the players defending Michael Vick saying it’s his business. I guess I’m proud to be an “extremist”, like the abolitionists of yesteryear.

  8. Herb says:

    Michael Vick isn’t a legal, licensed, publicly traded business and has had most of his major deals pulled. You are going to compare a dog-fighting thug who is up on criminal charges to a bona-fide chain of pet stores who work to educate people about animals and compare yourself with and abolitionist? Abolitionists were concerned with people. Human Beings.

  9. Lynne says:

    Abolitionists were concerned with cruelty and abuse. Different species, same issue.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Children of normal human parents are taught by example that animals are not “toys” to be purchased solely for short term amusement, then neglected and discarded when the fancy passes. Of course, there are extremists out there — unfortunately there are a lot otherwise a big chain like Petco would not be eyeing up little bunnies purely for their profit potential– who not only allow their childrein to torture pets (what their “care” often amounts to), but also, sometimes by silence, condone
    human torture.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Animal Grade GM Corn Approved for Human Consumption Down Under (ABC Science Online, Australia) Monsanto’s application for an amendment of food regulators’ code, which formerly prevented the sale of the biotech giant’s GM corn from entering Australia, for fear of contaminating non-GM corn crops, has been accepted, and the corn, formerly classified as animal grade, approved for human consumption. http://www.sustainabletable.org/blog/

  12. Anonymous says:

    Firms Listening to Consumer’s Request for Humane Animal Treatment (Chicago Tribune) With more and more consumers prioritizing the humane treatment of animals when spending their money, some large producers are taking notice. Many are taking steps to phase out their bad habits and bring in new ones- some taking small steps now and creating longer 10 year plans to create a more sustainable and profitable business in the future. 10 years seems like a long ways away. http://www.sustainabletable.org/blog/

  13. Phoebe says:

    So, sending a letter to PetSmart telling them that I disagree with their decision to suddenly begin selling rabbits after 21 years of business makes me an “extremist?” Talk about extreme. And ridiculous.

    So, the rabbits will already be spayed and neutered, huh? Right. Just like the promise that all of their gerbils were the same sex. Funny how once those original little ones we bought from them matured we suddenly had more than ten. One of the originals must’ve snuck off to have a sex change operation without our noticing. Did you know that gerbils get pregnant within hours of giving birth? Well, you do, now! Great “education” opportunity there from a “bona-fide chain of pet stores,” right, Herb? Please.

    They sell whatever the truck brings to their loading dock. Did all of the PetSmart employees suddenly go to seminars on rabbits to learn what to teach customers before they purchase? No. Or did they get a one page instruction sheet to read? More than likely, if they even got that much. They were probably told rabbits are just like the gerbils and hamsters they sell, only bigger. And that’s complete and utter nonsense.

    Great “education.”

  14. Judy says:

    I’m sure I used to see rabbits for adoption at PetSmart, where do they think those rabbits are going to go?

  15. nora says:

    Herb, I am glad that you and your daughter are responsible pet caretakers and I am sure your daughter and her Bunny are a happy pair. Yes, Bunnies can make great pets and it is a happy time when the Humans who purchase a Bunny are good people like you. But that is not always the case and those bad incidents are the ones we are all concerned about. Too many poor unfortunate animals are tortured and killed and suffer hunger and pain and lonliness and confusion. These are the ones we are concerned with. Petsmart will not screen the people who are purchasing the rabbits. SO sad.

  16. Roberto P. says:

    Here is an interesting article about adopting rabbits.
    http://www.adoptarabbit.com/articles/kids.html
    “Contrary to popular belief, rabbits usually do not make good pets for young children under the age of eight or nine years old. Rabbits do not like to be held and will kick and twist to get away, causing possible broken bones in the rabbit and a nasty scratch to the child.”
    I agree with you, Nora. Shelters are more likely to be careful about whom they adopt to. Petsmart is in existence to make money, not to educate people about pet care. That’s the beginning and the end of it. Pet stores are there to make a profit. Period.

  17. Ruth says:

    PetSmart=Money. They don’t care who buys the rabbits. So on the 15th day are they going to take back the rabbit. No. So where does the poor animal end up? The local shelter…. or worse let out to roam.

    Herb: Why do you call people ” extremists”? Not every one is a caring, responsible pet owner.

    You should have been here in my neighborhood when there were a lot of rabbits running around hungry and sick because of a stupid person who let them go and didn’t want them. I think you would have called yourself an “extremist” then.

    PetSmart doesn’t care what happens to the animals they sell. Only Money. They should just sell products not living animals. I hope the trolls are reading this too. PetSmart you have lost another customer!!

  18. Herb says:

    Sorry, my experience with them was, we got this rabbit, the gal there at the store walked us through all sorts of scenarios, gave us advice, showed us books and tips and sold us what we needed. The people are friendly and nice and prompt.

    It is extreme to compare a criminal with a store but the power is in the people’s pocketbooks, if they will stick to their guns or not. You can impact the store a little bit by not going there, but unless you get a large mainstream negative push, a little onesy-twosy boycott isn’t going to hurt them. You would have to have enough people who would actually swear on their life that they would never go there to make a difference. If you want to really hurt them you need to start a website, maybe something clever like the SOBs, Save Our Bunnies, dot com or something, get your local media to investigate the story, there are enough mainstream media types that are looking to take on a corporation or animal cause or both and get a major thing going. My going or not going to their store is never going to matter to them as an individual.

    And yes, rabbits make excellent pets, but the same stupid person who let the rabbits go is probably the same idiot that let his cats poop in my grandkids’s sandbox and released his dog “into the wild” on my uncle’s dairy farm. Here where I live the hawks often take care of overpopulation of rabbits and outdoor cats.

  19. Moonbeam says:

    It doesn’t bother me that PetSmart is selling rabbits or bunnies. It’s sad when they die or are abandoned but rabbits are well rabbits and we shot them for target practice on the ranch and then ate them for dinner before the wild rabbits got this virus. People raise rabbits for show and then cull the ones that don’t make the cut and feed them to their dogs. I mean it’s a rabbit. Soon we’ll be rescuing dragon flies and butterfiles and bumble bees. Gads!

  20. Phoebe says:

    So, it wasn’t PetSmart that provided you with the rabbit, advice, and service, was it, Herb? Since they just started selling them, I mean, and you appear to have had the rabbit for a while.

    PetSmart’s been in business since 1986 and they’re just now starting to sell rabbits. I wonder what the catalyst for that change could have possibly been? Besides the green - and I don’t mean the rabbit food.

    Oh, and Moonbeam, hives of bees are dying out all across the country. You might want to do some research on the present and future agricultural consequences of that. If it continues, you may be living on nothing but moonbeams to eat, seeing as those wild rabbits had the nerve to contract a virus and keep you from eating them.

    It always fascinates me when people come out of nowhere to try and persuade others that writing letters or boycotting companies doesn’t work or that only “extremists” would do it. If it doesn’t work, then why bother trying to talk people out of it? This “extremist” thought that PetSmart was making a mistake by deciding to sell rabbits, but intended to move on to other news of the day. However, after reading some of the subsequent comments, I intend to follow-up with letters and phone calls to the company as to why I find it a mistake and why I will no longer be a customer in any of their stores. Then I will patronize locally-owned, independent pet supply stores that do not sell live animals. Thanks, Herb and Moonbeam! You have impacted PetSmart’s bottom-line today, if only a tiny bit. And I’m content with that. For now.

  21. RabbitWise says:

    There is a web site and a campaign. There are coalitions being formed with non-rabbit rescue groups and the big animal organizations. As a result, PetSmart has already started to back down. Now is the time to end the irresponsible practice of selling living sentient beings to whomever has the whim to buy one. Let’s work together and get them to stop selling ALL animals. The profit is in the supplies anyway. In this country we kill 5-9 million healthy, adoptable animals every year—cats, dogs, and rabbits, in that order— for no better reason than they have no home. This is unconscionable to treat living animals this way. The last thing that should be done is to breed more.

    Visit the Hot Topics page at www.rabbitwise.org or go directly to http://mysite.verizon.net/vze27h5b/id90.html for up to date info on the campaign. Love the SOB idea.

    Another “radical” putting the welfare of livings creatures about human profit making.

  22. Mary says:

    I’m not saying I’m in favor of PetSmart selling rabbits, but why is it wrong for them to sell rabbits but okay for them to sell hamsters, guinea pigs, and birds? We have a guinea pig (rehomed, not from PS) and he is a pretty smart and affectionate little booger… how is this different from a rabbit?

  23. mittens says:

    the laws in a free society against any sort of criminal cruelty don’t kick in until someone has DONE SOMETHING deemed wrong.just because an animal is bought in a pet shop doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be abused by someone. the idea seems to be if you buy a pet retail youre some sort of evil demon from hell and irresponsible to boot. it’s self righteous and judgemental-typical of our busy body society where people are beside themselves if the rest of us don’t comply with your individual belief system.

    i never shop at any of the big chain stores because theyre more expensive in general and all my pets are rescues- my choice but i don’t expect others to make the same choices as i do as if i am somehow superior just because i scooped a cat off a street or saved it from the ‘ humane’ societies gas chamber. all the chain stores around here have ferrets and birds and hamsters and rats (that are meant for snake food)- why are bunnies any different? because theyre cute and cuddly and bring you candy at easter? my family always had bunnies growing up and the children were taught responsible pet ownership-we didnt turn into a batch of depraved bunny torturing serial killers. nothing can be more healthful and encouraging of responsibility and empathy in a child them being guided through caring for an animal. the real issue seems to be that some people think they know better than others what’s good for all the officially cute furry creatures and the rest of us are ignorant savages with jeffery dahmer for a child and depraved cruel desires.

  24. Scratch says:

    Herb-I am not an extremist and nine is not what I call an “young child”. Question is would PetSmart have sold it to you if your child was in the chasing years? Many bunnies don’t start to kick until about 6-10 months old. Only occasionally will a bunny not be a kicker which requires special handling for them to work through. How old is your bunny? PetSmart makes their money off the supplies, not the livestock. If you need a cage, food, etc.; you could easily walk out of there spending $200 on bunny. And by the way, PetSmart taught you all about bunnies according to what products they sell. Doesn’t mean they taught you the right things. Did they sell you a bunny from from stock that is E. Cuniculi negative? It would have been nicer if you had adopted. Take a look at www.petfinder.com. Bunnies, bunnies everywhere. Here is an excellent general information site. http://homepage.mac.com/mattoc.....brefs.html

    Moonbeam-They eat dogs in many countries, so what’s your point? We live in a cruel world. That doesn’t mean that it we shouldn’t try to be as civilized and humane as possible.

    Mary-Cats, dogs, and rabbits are #1-3 strays in the country. This is why rescue groups are keying in on them. Large parrots are probably #4 which is why there was a lot of pressure on PetCo to stop selling them.

    On top of millions of ‘pets’ loosing their life for no good reason, there is enormous $ cost to society to house, euthanasia, and dispose. Yes, all of us are forking out the tax dollars for this one.

  25. Phoebe says:

    Actually, mittens, the “real issue seems to be that” those of us who don’t agree with Petsmart suddenly deciding to sell rabbits (after decades of successfully being in business without them in their ‘product’ line) are called “extremists” or “self righteous and judgemental.” We don’t agree with you so that means each of us feels “superior” and is a “busy body?”

    Wow.

    Personally, I don’t give a rabbit’s rear if you agree with Petsmart, me, or anyone else. However, you sure seem emotionally invested in what those of us who disagree with PetSmart think.

  26. Scratch says:

    Herb-I am not an extremist and nine is not what I call an “young child”. Question is would PetSmart have sold it to you if your child was in the chasing years? Many bunnies don’t start to kick until about 6-10 months old. Only occasionally will a bunny not be a kicker. How old is your bunny? PetSmart makes their money off the supplies, not the livestock. If you need a cage, food, etc.; you could easily walk out of there spending $250 on bunny. And by the way, PetSmart taught you all about bunnies according to what products they sell. Doesn’t mean they taught you the right things. Did they sell you a bunny from from stock that is E. Cuniculi negative? It would have been nicer if you had adopted. Take a look at www.petfinder.com. Bunnies, bunnies everywhere. Here is an excellent general information site. http://homepage.mac.com/mattoc.....brefs.html

    Moonbeam-They eat dogs in many countries, so what’s your point? We live in a cruel world. That doesn’t mean that it we shouldn’t try to be as civilized and humane as possible.

    Mary-Cats, dogs, and rabbits are #1-3 strays in the country. This is why rescue groups are keying in on them. Large parrots are probably #4 which is why there was a lot of pressure on PetCo to stop selling them.

    On top of millions of ‘pets’ loosing their life for no good reason, there is enormous $ cost to society to house, euthanasia, and dispose. Yes, all of us are forking out the tax dollars for this one.

  27. Herb says:

    No, I didn’t buy the rabbit at all, someone gave him to my daughter before asking me, and the pet store was one of the big chains, not sure which one, it doesn’t make a difference to me, they are all the same, and yes, you could easily spend that much, we spent $400 for all the right stuff. And they don’t make maintenance costs off me since I buy all my pet food at that other evil retailer, Wal-Mart.

    Of course green is the catalyst, green drives the business world, that’s what business is about.

    Oh, and yes, I did “drop in out of the blue” because I thought anyone was welcome to come here and diversity was in itchmo’s mission statement.

  28. Trudy says:

    I disagree with Petsmart selling live animals of any kind. The continuation of nonprofit responsible rescue groups seeking homes for abandoned animals of all kinds leads to responsible placement of those animals. Selling live animals for profit in these established pet stores is completely irrisponsible and most often resuls in inhumane treatment and possible abandonment of the live animals purchaed.

  29. Scratch says:

    Herb-I commend you for giving a needy rabbit a home and for spending the money. In my opinion Wal-Mart does not sell quality rabbit supplies. My rabbits live until they are 10-15 years old. They need a very high fiber, low fat, low sugar diet. I have never seen this diet in a large chain store. Quality is the problem, not the fact that any store is large or small. Some small stores do not have quality products either. No yogurt drops, iceberg lettuce, celery, or watery fruits. Tiny amount of carrots which are high in sugar. For adult rabbits pellets should be under 15% protein, under 2% fat, and at least 24% fiber; and without all the added ‘junk’. Make sure adult bunny (usually over 6 months) has tons of good quality timothy hay at all times.

  30. Herb says:

    Why not eat dogs or horses? Actually you could feed and warm a lot of homeless people with all that haasenpfeffer and fur gloves those rabbits in the shelters would make.

  31. Phoebe says:

    “Why not eat dogs or horses? Actually you could feed and warm a lot of homeless people with all that haasenpfeffer and fur gloves those rabbits in the shelters would make.”

    How very revealing.

    Obviously a loving pet owner revealing his true colors. People are also eaten in some parts of the world. That work for you as a food source for homeless people, too, Herb? And, do tell, how did you suddenly “drop in out of the blue” on this particular subject? Did a search on “rabbits and Petsmart,” did you? Why, since you’re obviously all in favor of the idea? Honestly, what would compel a person such as yourself to suddenly seek out a forum to post on this topic alone?

    This reminds me of the postings of dog/cat food companies on various pet owners’ forums as the recalls snowballed.

  32. Herb says:

    Some people just can’t live without getting in the last word. What exactly is “a person such as me?”

  33. Phoebe says:

    It says right in the comment, Herb, and in your own from early this morning: A person who did “drop in out of the blue.” Why? Why now and why this topic? You agree with PetSmart, so why would you go looking for disagreement in order to post about it?

    As for getting in the last word….Oh, hello. Pot. Kettle, here. Guess what? You’re black.

  34. Traci says:

    Sigh, is it getting anyone here anywhere to name call and fling insinuations onto the other side? I am finding value in the posts of both “sides” here but the meanness is distracting.

  35. Mary says:

    Phoebe: Herb is pulling your chain, and you’re letting him. And your indignance only make it more fun for him to pull that chain just a little more, to see how far he can push ya. Stop sputtering, and he’ll stop pulling.

    Scratch: I didn’t know that rabbits were the #3 stray. Bottom line is, though, I don’t like it that PetSmart sells *any* animals. But I can only think of one pet supply in the area that doesn’t sell one kind of critter or another.

  36. Marlene Sivell says:

    I am trying to ADOPT a RESCUE dog from the A1K9 rescue.com and am concerned that they only have puppies and approved me within 1/2 an hour (no questions asked, didn’t even check my references). Their website says they are based in Ohio. What I’m hoping is someone can help me to perhaps give me the name of a regulating body that will assure me these puppies are indeed RESCUES and not coming from a “puppy mill”.

    If you can help in anyway please contact me at msivell@bdo.ca.

    Thank you!


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