Petco To Reduce Number Of Pets Sold In Stores

PetcoPetco has announced that they will reduce the number of animals for sale in its stores nationwide by 30 percent.

The company said they are making space for more products as they are trying to tailor stores to local markets.

Petco spokesman Kevin Whalen said the decision was based on the results of a test that started in November 2007. He stated that Petco is taking customer needs into consideration and is aiming to keep animals in stores for a shorter period.

But People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that Petco’s move is because of their investigation of Rainbow World Exotics (RWE) in Hamilton, Texas, one of Petco’s animal suppliers. An undercover PETA investigator recorded abuse and neglect of birds and other animals.

PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch made this statement: “PETCO is taking good steps that should send a ripple through the pet trade industry, but it is astounding that an abusive mill like RWE can still call the nation’s two largest pet supply companies its customers. The decisions by PETCO and PetSmart not to cut ties with RWE make it clear that to them, the bottom line is far more important than ensuring that tens of thousands of animals avoid pain and suffering. PETA wants consumers to know that animals do not generally fare well in the pet trade. Animal shelters and pounds are the place to go when you are ready to offer a loving, responsible home to an animal.”

Whalen responded, “While it will benefit animals, our decision to expand the test program to all of our stores is unrelated to our discussions with PETA.”

Source: Reuters

14 Responses to “Petco To Reduce Number Of Pets Sold In Stores”

  1. The Lioness says:

    Mixed feelings here. I’m glad they are REDUCING the numbers of live animals sold, but I agree that is not good enough.

    They need to get OUT of the live animal business!

    ~The Lioness

  2. Denised says:

    I never have seen animals for sale at petco are they doing the puppy mill sales too. I thought maybe that had some rescues. if they are supplying puppymills then they need to quit.

  3. Lis says:

    Petco doesn’t sell dogs or cats, so no, no puppy mill sales. They do actively support adoption, sponsor adoption events, have instore adoption events, even, in my local Petco, have a dedicated terminal for searching Petfinder.

    The live animals they sell are birds, gerbils, hamsters–fish, too, I think.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Petco in Fort Wayne had a ton of dogs in there the one and only time i went in there looking for some doggie steps. Of course I had to look at each and every one of them. I felt so sorry for them. Needless to say I havent stepped a foot in there again and wont. I wont give my business to any petstore that sells animals, there are plenty of other petstores to go to.


  5. Anon says:


    Did you check to see if those dogs were for sale or adoption? I’ve never seen a dog or cat for sale in a PetCo.

  6. KAEfamily says:

    I have never seen dogs nor cats for sales at PetCo either.

  7. timebomb says:

    Man am I ever tired of the anti-pet shop sentiment on this site. Even when there’s a halfway positive article posted here about Petco or Petsmart it takes less than 5 comments before somebody starts screaming, “SHUT ‘EM DOWN!!!! THEY SHOULDN’T SELL ANIMALS ANYWAY! blah, blah, blah…” This time it didn’t even get to two comments before the whining commenced.

    Let me ask you all something, if you got what you wanted tomorrow and every single pet store chain stopped selling birds, reptiles, fish and small animals WHERE WOULD THOSE PETS YOU LOVE SO MUCH COME FROM?! If you or your kid wanted a hamster or a guinea pig or a cockatiel, do you really think you’re going to find a local breeder that has what you want? Maybe in some places you might find a mom-and-pop bird or fish breeder but let me tell you those people are few and far between and they would never be able to keep up with the demand. If you think animal abuse or neglect only occurs in large-chain pet stores or in their suppliers facilities, think again. Only a few months ago an individual who ran a pet store in my area was nearly fined out of existence because of the conditions in her back room and she’d been in business for 17 YEARS. I don’t think the place is going to be open much longer, with the sharp drop in customer traffic the place is now only open 3-4 days a week and there are only a few birds and fish for sale in there.

    You guys seem to think a store like Petsmart only does more and more harm every day they are open, but what about the fact that they’ve raised over $40 million dollars for those very same shelters and rescues you preach about going to? What about the almost 4 million cats and dogs that have been adopted out because they are there for people to see when they’re shopping at the evil Petsmart store? Did you know that neither Petsmart or Petco has EVER sold puppies or kittens from breeders?

    Maybe I’ll give some weight to your arguments that the chain stores are indifferent to the abuse of the animals they sell when there are many millions of hamsters and birds being killed in shelters every year and there are literally hundreds of ads in every bird magazine and local newspaper listing BABY BIRDS FOR SALE ONLY $1500!!! and such.

    Now I’m going to go sit with my cat I adopted from Petsmart in my lap while I read a book and later when the hamster I bought from Petco wakes up I’m going to clean her cage and add some more tunnels to her huge maze.

    Have fun ripping me to pieces on here and sounding like a bunch of PETA nutjobs while you do it.

  8. Sharon says:

    The local Petcos support adoption from the surrounding rescue groups. Unfortunately the adoption fees are so high as to deter anyone from adopting except the wealthy. I almost brought a tortie home to be Kuma’s companion but the price tag was too high.

  9. Anon says:


    Last year I adopted a dog from my local humane society that had been adopted out through a PetSmart adoption program previously. She was adopted to a family through the PetSmart endorsed adoption program. After the family had the dog for a little while they discovered that she was PREGNANT and then tried to give her back. The adoption agency would not take her back and the family sent the dog pregnant with 6 puppies to the kill shelter. Fortunately, the local no-kill humane society took her on, found a foster for her puppies and I adopted her. Her puppies we all adopted as well.

    It’s stories like the one I experienced first hand that keep me out of PetSmart. Or the stories of the distgusting food that they peddle that comes from God knows where containing God knows what. I still shop at PetCo, even though they carry many of the same foods, but they have MANY more natural and American made products.

  10. anon says:

    The appalling conditions of every Petco I have ever walked into is what keeps me from wanting them to sell pets! The sickening stench and floating dead fish in Petsmart’s is what makes me want them to stop selling any animal.
    They suck at it. They suck as bad as puppy mills suck and that is saying something.

    Stick to hawking bags and cans of heavily advertised poison and blowing in the PFI wind, that is what Petco and Petsmart are best at.

    When a place really cares about animals they don’t have to pay advertisers to tell you about it. It shows.

  11. timebomb says:

    How is Petsmart at fault for the dog being pregnant? Do you understand how the Petsmart/rescue relationship works? I don’t think you do. Every rescue that is allowed to hold adoption events or have dogs & cats in the stores has to go through a process during which their facilities and practices are inspected before they can be affiliated with that company in any way. Even when the rescue initially passes muster, they can be and are banned from coming back when things like you talked about happen.

    If THE RESCUE did not make sure the dog was spayed before being adopted and THE RESCUE refused to take the dog back when she wound up pregnant, who is responsible for that dog winding up at the pound? Uh…lemme guess…THE RESCUE!

    As far as “the distgusting food that they peddle that comes from God knows where containing God knows what.”, what exactly does that have to do with a big chain pet retailer committing the “crime” of selling small pets other than cats and dogs? Nothing. Does Petco or Petsmart control what goes into Purina or Masterfoods pet foods? Nope.

    Face it, your vilification of big chain pet stores is ridiculous and just flat wrong.

  12. timebomb says:

    And every one of those stores has numbers posted that you can call to report bad conditions directly to corporate. I’ve seen them in every Petco and Petsmart in this area. Have you ever called them if the stores by you are so bad? You can wager your gluteus maximus I’d call if the stores I went into were as bad as you say. I’d call repeatedly and keep going in there to make sure they fix it instead of just “Uh-huh”ing me. I for sure wouldn’t just turn my back and walk out.

    I think the “apalling conditions” and “sickening stench” claims are overblown. If it’s that bad, take pictures. Get some evidence, call the local news, call PETA to spy on them. You haven’t done that, have you?

    Why not?

  13. anon says:

    Pics and video _have_ been taken, duh, did you miss that part?

    Petsmart and Petco had their chance to stand up , they stood up for the PFI, let them get their income from from the PFI, they will not be getting it from me. I won’t be getting animals, fish OR supplies from Petco or Petsmart.

    Looking at the numbers, it seems a lot of people are making the same decision.

  14. l.g. says:

    My local Petco & Petsmart are clean and I have been impressed that the reptile environments have been improving over the years. I buy products from both chains and will continue to do so. I have no problem with them selling small animals like hamsters and fish. They DO NOT SELL DOGS! I have to take PETA’s claims with a grain of salt (a whole other topic). Other than that, i have to agree with most of what Timebomb has already said.

    I also have to wonder if the people just said the dog was pregnant when they got her to deflect any blame or embarassment. Like Petsmart doesn’t have the animals checked by a vet before placing them for adoption!?!?

E-mail It