January, 2007 ALERT
Information from Judith Pierce of San Diego
House Rabbit Society:
"Bad news, PETCO stores across the U.S. are
now selling baby rabbits from Marshall Farms. Marshall Farms is a notorious
"puppy mill" breeder, which also has bred nearly 100% of the ferrets for sale in
pet stores in the U.S. Not only do they breed for pet stores, they also breed
for laboratories. They have jumped into the rabbit market, churning out
thousands of baby bunnies and - get this - spaying or neutering them at a very
young age (well before puberty) in order to sell them at a premium price. They
hope to counter the issue about selling rabbits that are not altered, but in
doing these surgeries at such a young age they are surely causing long-term
problems. And, given the difficulty of a surgery on a bunny so young, I would
bet they are easily losing 30% or more in the process.
"San Diego House Rabbit Society has
information on the PETCO situation on their web page at
http://www.sandiegorabbits.org. This includes a brief description of what's
going on (Marshall Farms rabbits being sold at PETCO), and asking people to
write letters of complaint, and also cut-up and include their PETCO PALS cards.
This situation is being discussed among HRS chapters nationwide. PETCO just
showed up with these rabbits in Rhode Island, and they are coming to Southern
California as well. I'm sure they are destined for many areas in the U.S.
"Please take a moment to write a letter of
protest to PETCO. Protest them selling baby rabbits when our local shelters are
overflowing with abandoned rabbits. Protest their supporting the notorious
Marshall Farms. And, if you've got a PETCO PALS card, I hope you'll cut it up
and include it in your letter. I also ask you to stop purchasing anything from
PETCO until they stop selling rabbits. From this point on I will no longer refer
any person to PETCO for supplies, nor will San Diego HRS have anything to do
"Once PETCO has pledged to stop selling
Marshall Farms rabbits, and has rescued shelter rabbits for adoption in its
stores (either through adoption days or in-house), we can once again work with
their Foundation. Visit the SDHRS website at
www.sandiegorabbits.org to see a sample letter, who to write your letters
to, and a copy of a letter to Brian Devine. I hope we can turn this around. Many
thanks to the dedicated House Rabbit Society volunteers and to the San Diego
House Rabbit Society for being proactive in dealing with this situation. "
Please tell Petco to stop selling rabbits--and
all other animals, too! Letters should be addressed to one or all of these
Brian Devine, Chairman of the Board
Bruce Hall, President & COO
Jim Myers, CEO
Tom Farello, Senior Vice President of
The address for all of them is:
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
9125 Rehco Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
- TELL PETCO TO
STOP SELLING RABBITS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY
In December, 2006
PETCO stores began selling rabbits in San Diego County. The Escondido (Valley
Parkway) and Carmel Mountain stores currently have rabbits and the Poway is
considering adding rabbits to their inventory.
PETCO sponsors the
Union Tribune "Adopt a Pet Save a Life" insert, which features dozens of
homeless rabbits. How can PETCO, in good conscience, begin to sell animals they
know are already languishing in local shelters in huge numbers? With more than
500 rabbits coming into local shelters and humane societies each year, what is
PETCO thinking? Certainly not their "supposed" mission of "Think Adoption
been reported that these rabbits are coming from the notorious "puppy mill"
breeder, Marshall Farms, which has now gotten into the "rabbit mill" business.
Marshall Farms is well known for the thousands of dogs and ferrets it breeds for
pet store and laboratory use across the U.S. This is not something we want in
San Diego County!
I was dismayed to
learn that you have rabbits for sale in San Diego area PETCO stores. As a House
Rabbit Society supporter, I know that there are hundreds of rabbits available
for adoption at shelters throughout San Diego County.
I understood that
PETCO was promoting a "Think Adoption First" program and was working with
shelters to facilitate adoptions through their in store Adoption Centers.
With the large
numbers of rabbits languishing in local shelters, I am saddened to see that
PETCO is now creating more demand from breeders for rabbits. I am hopeful that
the corporation will reconsider this giant step backwards and will continue its
admirable work with local shelters to promote adoptions of the homeless animals
I realize that the
PETCO charities have raised millions of dollars to support animal welfare
agencies across the country. Your website states “Pet overpopulation is one of
the biggest problems facing companion animals and animal welfare organizations
nationwide". Why then would your corporation choose to undermine the efforts of
those same animal welfare organizations by offering breeder sourced animals for
sale in its stores?
long as your corporation offers rabbits for sale, I will no longer shop at PETCO. Thank you for your
consideration in this matter, http://www.cotse.net/users/dlf/marshall_farms.htm (For the Love of
The response from Petco was the usual PR rhetoric. In part, it stated that ”in
stores where no rescue group is able or willing to provide a consistent supply
of shelter rabbits, we reserve the right to offer for sale rabbits obtained from
other sources to meet the needs of responsible customers.” They believe that
their overall approach, combined with “a price point unlikely to lead to impulse
decisions,” is a responsible one.
Marshall Farms is the main breeder supplying PETCO with animals. PETCO and
Marshall Farms both insist that their animals are treated with the utmost care
and love, in preparation for happy healthy lives as loving pets. Marshall Farms
is also the main breeder supplying animal testing laboratories with their
animals. It would seem that there would be a conflict of interest here. Or
perhaps it's corporate pragmatism of a most inhumane nature.
Marshall Farms also makes it a practice to spay/neuter baby rabbits at the age
of one month, which is far too young for a rabbit to develop properly. The
hormones they miss out on due to such young alterations affects their physical
development and creates inherent health concerns and an increased likeliness of
illness in adults. The reason the rabbits are altered so young? So they'll stay
small and cute and baby-like in their appearance, hopefully enhancing their
Akron Petland closes after
worker drowns rabbits; Robinson Petland, PA, under scrutiny
PETCO Leaves Animals to Drown in
Investigating Petco's Suppliers and Operations; animals left to die in
flood; 2016 animals frozen alive, crudely
gassed at Holmes Farm, supplier to Petco & Petsmart