Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters



Target: Petcetera, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
Carmina Gooch, Pets In Need Society and Pacific Animal Foundation

A recent decision by Petcetera to stop selling baby rabbits in all its British Columbia retail pet store locations was a move in a positive direction for rabbit welfare.

The BC SPCA asked Mr. Urbani, President and CEO of Petcetera, to discontinue the sale of baby rabbits as the BC SPCA acknowledged “rescuing” more than 1,700 rabbits each year at its branches.

Rabbits are mostly purchased on impulse with little thought or knowledge as to health care or long term commitment.  As a result, thousands of rabbits are surrendered to pounds, rescue groups, or are abandoned outdoors each year.

To combat the serious overpopulation crisis of dumped rabbits, we ask that pet stores across Canada stop selling rabbits.  The indirect consequence of purchasing baby rabbits without adequate knowledge of care needs, exercise requirements, and natural behaviours often results in:

- pet abandonment when the novelty and cuteness factors wear off

- high death rate for rabbits in overcrowded "shelters" or from predators and other outdoor risks 

- the presence and/or persistence of feral colonies at dumping sites and sometimes lethal solutions for feral populations  

We, the undersigned, support the withdrawal of pet rabbits for sale from retail locations and further encourage the development of pet industry initiatives that focus on companion animal wellbeing, including a retail industry commitment to progressive adoption partnerships with humane organizations or rescue groups. 


To: Petcetera and Canadian Federation of Humane Societies 


Buying baby rabbits from pet stores is often an impulse purchase because of the “cuteness” factor.  Most purchasers are uneducated as to normal rabbit behaviour and the amount of care that rabbits require.

They are often bought by parents who think rabbits will be easy to look after and will be a good “starter pet” for their children.  Quite the contrary! 

Rabbits require the same amount of care as a cat or dog.  Their image of a cheap child’s pet is financially inaccurate and their complex needs are poorly understood by many who “own” them. 

Once the novelty wears off and the rabbit begins to mature, marking territory or chewing electrical cords, they often end up confined to a cage, and forgotten.  The outcome for most of these rabbits is that they will be surrendered to pounds or abandoned to the outdoors to fend for themselves, usually after about six months.  Sexually mature rabbits can reproduce every 30 days with a litter of 6 – 12 kits.  The killing of healthy animals due to lack of space or funds becomes a reality for thousands of rabbits each year or they are often killed by predators or starvation if abandoned outdoors.

In a positive step, Petcetera has recently announced that it will discontinue rabbit sales in all its British Columbia stores by September 1, 2007, in acknowledgement of the crisis proportion of rabbit abandonment to pounds and rescue groups.   Rabbit sales will be replaced by a humane society satellite adoption center – an excellent idea worthy of being implemented across the country.   

This letter asks Petcetera and other pet stores to stop the sale of rabbits across Canada as a socially responsible business goal to help alleviate the suffering or death of a surplus of healthy rabbits who have been abandoned to backyard cages, pounds or the outdoors.  


http://www.thepetitionsite.com:80/takeaction/948517927  (now closed, thank you)

Update: Petcetera went bankrupt, but bought back some stores and has reopened. All stores were closed in 2014!

Visit our Rabbit Issues Page for further information and news.