Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Attention Canada: PetSmart has recently made the decision to test the sale of spayed and neutered dwarf rabbits for $99.99 in some of its US stores and is expanding across Canada.  They took over 18 Super Pet stores on June 1st, 2007 and a new one will soon open in the District of North Vancouver.  Please read the information below and sign the petition.  Letters can be sent  to:   

or corpcommunications@ssg.petsmart.com 

Thanks, Carmina

Truth about Puppy Mills

To PetSmart: Selling Rabbits is a Sell-Out to Commercialism

July 20, 2007

Statement from Best Friends

The PetSmart decision to sell rabbits in 40 of their stores is disappointing. Rabbits are the third most euthanized pet in most city and county shelters, and, like dogs and cats, thousands of them are looking for good homes.

PetSmart and its competitor, Petco, realized early on that there was more downside than upside in selling dogs and cats, especially when they could invite pet rescue organizations--desperate for adoption outlets--to set up at their stores, provide the animal presence to attract customers, and drive sales of pet supplies.

When the “no-kill” movement began to gather steam in the early 1990s, both PetSmart and Petco became our allies by setting up their own animal charities to promote spay/neuter and adoption and save homeless pets. Both PetSmart Charities and The Petco Foundation continue to do significant good for homeless pets, and the animal protection movement generally applauds their commitment to the cause.

So the sudden announcement that PetSmart will sell house rabbits raises an obvious dilemma for the rescue and humane community.

PetSmart and Petco point out that they’re already selling parrots, chinchillas, ferrets, mice, rats, hamsters, and some reptiles. So why not rabbits?

Indeed, Best Friends is committed to bringing an end to the sale of all household pets – period. But first things first. Cats and dogs comprise the great majority of pets dying in shelters, and that’s why we called for an end to the selling of puppies and kittens.

In recent years, there has been a huge upsurge in the number of bunnies landing in – and consequently dying in – city and county animal shelters, along with a parallel surge in rabbit rescue groups. Last year, for example, Best Friends was called to a backyard in Reno, Nevada, where a group of rabbits that had not been spayed or neutered had multiplied to 1,600, and required thousands of staff hours and hundreds of thousands or dollars to sort out.

Bottom line: When PetSmart starts selling bunnies, they’re fueling another rash of unscrupulous commercial pet-breeding mills –just like the puppy mills and kitten mills.

Best Friends joins other animal protection groups in asking PetSmart to reconsider its decision. Apply the same principle to rabbits that you rightly do for cats and dogs. Do the right thing for bunnies and all homeless animals by only allowing adoptions of homeless rabbits in your stores.

We’re asking our members and supporters to weigh in on this issue. Let us know how you feel about PetSmart’s decision to sell rabbits.

July 21, 2007

E-mail to PetSmart regarding selling rabbits and this is their reply:

"Thank you for sharing your concerns with us regarding the sale of dwarf rabbits in our stores. We began testing this concept in 40 stores across the country this month. There appears to be some confusion and misinformation circulating about this test, so we appreciate the opportunity to provide some clarification.

It’s important for you to know that, as with any pet we sell in our stores, we began this test only after many months of careful evaluation by a team that included pet care experts and veterinarians. We selected a dwarf variety that we believe will make a great family pet and will create a lifelong bond with its family. As part of this test, we’ll conduct follow-up, random surveys of customers to see how these pets are adjusting.

We are sensitive to the issue of pet populations and animal welfare and took that into consideration when making our decision to sell dwarf rabbits. All rabbits sold through PetSmart will be spayed or neutered before they arrive at the stores. And the retail price of $99.99, we believe, will deter customers from buying this pet on impulse, a practice we strongly discourage.

In addition, we will continue to promote rabbit adoptions in our stores. We partner currently with more than 50 animal welfare organizations that are specifically devoted to rabbits and that conduct adoptions at our stores. We will continue these partnerships as well as continue to add qualified adoption partners.

We take our responsibility seriously when it comes to selling pets. We make sure our associates are well equipped to answer customers’ questions about the pet and determine if it’s the right fit. We provide customers with the tools to help them make a responsible decision and to deliver the proper care and attention needed for their pet.

We share your passion for pets and want to assure you we’ll do what’s right for our Pet Parents and their pets. You can also find additional information about dwarf rabbits and our test on our website at www.petsmartfacts.com.

Selling Bunnies Is Selling Out

To: Robert F. Moran
President and Chief Operating Officer
PetSmart, Inc.

Selling Bunnies Is Selling Out

Please help us prevent more pets from dying in shelters.

With its long-standing policy of not selling dogs and cats in its stores, PetSmart, Inc. has long been an ally of Best Friends Animal Society in promoting adoptions and saving lives.

But a recent decision to sell rabbits in 40 of your stores flies in the face of PetSmart's reputation for responsible treatment of animals. Rabbits are already the third most euthanized animals in shelters across the United States.

That's why we're asking you to reconsider your decision. We urge PetSmart to take the high road and not sell rabbits when there already are more rabbits than homes to care for them.

Please, Mr. Moran, do the right thing. Apply the same principle to rabbits that you rightly do for cats and dogs. Please let your reputation for kindness and caring take precedence over the small amount of profits that can be generated from selling rabbits. We all know that this plan can only add to the number of pets being abandoned and then killed in shelters.

Thank you for considering this petition. We look forward, in return, to a continuing relationship as customers.


The petition: http://network.bestfriends.org/Petitions/Detail.aspx?pn=5&g=e79ce3cf85664250a4cabd781f1da8c6

PetSmart Petition Update - Selling Bunnies is Selling Out 

August 8, 2007 : 1:58 PM 

We asked and you answered. Best Friends Network would like to send a special thank you to everyone who has signed our Selling Bunnies is Selling Out petition. With your support we have almost reached our goal of 30,000 signatures, telling PetSmart to do the right thing and only allow adoptions of homeless rabbits in PetSmart stores.

Your support of this campaign has helped communicate the importance of this issue to PetSmart. As a result, the original 40 store test has been reduced to 25 stores. Although we haven't reached our final goal, you have brought us one step closer to eliminating the retail sales of the third most euthanized pet.

Please continue to support this campaign. You are making a difference. We are almost at our goal and we ask you to email this page (using the link at upper right) to three friends and family members and urge them to sign the petition.

We also invite you to become a network member (if you aren't one already) - it's easy and free! Through this grassroots Network, we will keep you abreast of the latest news on this issue as we take the necessary steps to end the cruelty of animals everywhere.

Thank you for your support,
The Best Friends Network Team


PetSmart recognizes there may be concerns and questions regarding their new program so has posted some information on their site as well as an open letter from the House Rabbit Society and their response.

For further information on this and other rabbit matters visit the The House Rabbit Society

RabbitWise is also protesting PetSmart's rabbit sales.  Visit their site at:


UPDATE: PetSmart Stops Sale of Rabbits

12/18/07: PetSmart has announced that they will be ceasing the test of rabbit sales in their stores, and will no longer be selling rabbits, once the current rabbits have been sold.

Because of the thousands of e-mails, petitions, phone calls, and overall opposition from the public PetSmart made this decision.  Their website states that “at this time, we're not expanding the test and will not continue to sell dwarf bunnies beyond those already in or planned for our stores." Given the fact that thousands of rabbits are abandoned to die in animal shelters/pounds every year, this is big news for the bunnies and for all the people who care about their well-being.

March 2008    

PETA Alert - Send Your Photos and Help Animals Sold by PetSmart. 

You can help the millions of animals sold by PetSmart today by pledging not to set foot in any of its stores until live animals are no longer part of PetSmart's inventory. In a world where millions of animals are abandoned, neglected, or abused or must be euthanized for lack of a good home, no minimally responsible company—let alone one that claims to care about animals—would contribute to their suffering by paying breeding mills to produce them to be sold to unsuspecting customers.  

For years, PetSmart has been selling birds and other small animals from massive animal "suppliers," where breeders warehouse tens of thousands of "breeding stock," whose babies (those who survive) are taken away and sold. PetSmart has assured PETA and customers that sick and injured animals in its stores are provided with veterinary care when they need it. But during PETA's undercover investigation in 2006, we documented that more than 100 small animals were deprived of adequate veterinary care and were slowly dying—hidden away in PetSmart's back rooms, out of customers' sight.  

Now is your chance to make a statement for animals and tell PetSmart you won't spend a penny at its stores until the company stops selling animals!  For details go to  http://www.petsmartcruelty.com/send_your_photos.asp?c=weekly_enews 

We did!

July 30, 2013 Pet store under fire for treatment of reptiles

Read more: Canadian laws & bylaws (CFHS)

The Current State of Pet Shop Laws (USA)