Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Animal Rights Uncompromised:
There's No Such Thing as a "Responsible Breeder"

August, 2007 PETA.org  

Most people know to avoid puppy mills and "backyard" breeders. But many kind individuals fall prey to the picket-fence appeal of so-called "responsible" breeders and fail to recognize that no matter how kindly a breeder treats his or her animals, as long as dogs and cats are dying in animal shelters and pounds because of a lack of homes, no breeding can be considered "responsible."

All breeders fuel the companion animal overpopulation crisis, and every time someone purchases a puppy or a kitten instead of adopting from an animal shelter, homeless animals lose their chance of finding a home—and will be euthanized. Many breeders don't require every puppy or kitten to be spayed or neutered prior to purchase, so the animals they sell can soon have litters of their own, creating even more animals to fill homes that could have gone to shelter animals—or who will end up in animal shelters or so-called "no-kill" animal warehouses themselves. Simply put, for every puppy or kitten who is deliberately produced by any breeder, a shelter animal dies. Producing animals for sale is a greedy and callous business in a world where there is a critical and chronic shortage of good homes for dogs, cats, and other animals, and the only "responsible breeders" are ones who, upon learning about their contribution to the overpopulation crisis, spay or neuter their animals, and get out of the business altogether.

Breeding Trouble

Producing more animals—either to make money or to obtain a certain "look" or characteristic—is also harmful to the animals who are produced by breeding. Dogs and cats don't care whether their physical appearance conforms to a judge's standards, yet they are the ones who suffer the consequences of humans' manipulation. Inbreeding causes painful and life-threatening genetic defects in "purebred" dogs and cats, including crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, and epilepsy. Distorting animals for specific physical features also causes severe health problems. The short, pushed-up noses of bulldogs and pugs, for example, can make exercise and even normal breathing difficult for these animals. Dachshunds' long spinal columns often cause back problems, including disk disease.

Adoption: The Only Compassionate Option

There is no excuse for breeding or for supporting breeders. If you love animals and are ready to care for a cat or a dog for the rest of the animal's life, please adopt from your local animal shelter, where there are dogs and cats galore—tails wagging and hearts filled with hope, looking out through the cage bars, just waiting to find someone to love. Shelters receive new animals every day, so if you don't find the perfect companion to match your lifestyle on your first visit, keep checking back. When you find your new best friend, you'll be glad that you chose to save a life—and made a new best friend as well.

If you know anyone who is considering purchasing an animal instead of adopting from a shelter, please forward this article to them, and please consider making a donation today to support PETA's vital work to save lives.

Animals Are Not Ours to . . . Eat  Wear  Experiment on  Use for Entertainment

Rabbit Breeders and the Pet Industry  

by Carmina Gooch 

Over the years I've written many letters asking that pet stores stop selling rabbits.  The unregulated breeding industry is rife with horror.  Whether the animal comes from a large mill or a backyard or hobby breeder, those that are part of the industry are in it for the profits only.  Even though the BC SPCA stated in a May, 2005 press release that all legitimate pet stores will be able to provide full details where their animals come from, I found this not to be the case.  When my correspondence was answered the reply was that my concerns were being looked into. 

Finally after years of public pressure, Petcetera, who enjoys a business relationship with the BC SPCA, has agreed to stop selling rabbits in all its BC stores effective September 1, 2007.  Many perfectly adoptable rabbits have been put down at SPCA branches across the province due to space reasons and because there weren't enough homes for them.  Unfortunately, there are still many rabbit breeders in BC, a number of them being young girls who also breed for show, and are either past or current 4H Club members.  A typical site says that they specialize in breeding quality (names breed/s) for show, 4H and family pets and that they will ship.  

Some of my recent letters: 

January 27, 2007 

Mayor Sullivan and Council, 

I have been actively involved in rabbit rescue and advocacy for well over a decade now, and have to say that the plight of rabbits appears to have increased rather than decreased.  This is due in part to the fact that they have become more popular as "pets", their ready availability to the public through retailers such as Petcetera, and because they are being sold without having been spayed or neutered. 

So why does the BC SPCA, which regards itself as an "animal welfare organization" maintain a business relationship with a retailer whose business methods perpetuate inhumane attitudes and practices?  Perfectly adoptable rabbits are being killed by the SPCA because of  "no other options," and many others are dumped into our municipalities or taken in by rescue groups.  And the public is bearing the cost of all of this, whereas it would be far more beneficial, to both the rabbits and our communities if there were more focus on preventative programs and legislation. 

While there is no simple answer to this issue, what is clear is that the situation can no longer be ignored and that a collaborative effort is necessary if we are to combat the crisis of the rapidly expanding surplus of unwanted domestic rabbits.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding this subject. 

Following are three recent letters sent to Mr. Urbani, President of Petcetera, Bob Busch, General Manager, Operations BC SPCA, and Craig Daniell, CEO of the BC SPCA outlining some of my concerns.

All went unanswered.  

January 10, 2007 

Mr. Daniell, 

As you are undoubtedly aware, a number of individuals and organizations continue to have serious concerns regarding the BC SPCA's business relationship with Petcetera. 

What is particularly troubling to me is the fact that Mr. Urbani is still selling intact domestic rabbits.  In my previous correspondence with you dating back to 2004 it was indicated that Mr. Urbani appeared to be open to the idea of using Petcetera facilities for the adoption of rabbits rather than the selling of these "pets."  To date, the Vancouver SPCA's pilot project which began featuring adoptable rabbits in February of 2005 at the Rupert store in the PAWS program appears to have been discontinued rather than expanded. Yet baby rabbits supplied by breeders are routinely featured and sold throughout his retail outlets. 

Can you please let me know if there is any immediate intimation from Mr. Urbani that rabbits will no longer be sold throughout his stores?  At the time you stated that the SPCA was working toward achieving the goal "in the months ahead." 

I would also like to point out that in a May 2005 press release the BC SPCA's Eileen Drever stated in part that "legitimate pet stores will be able to provide full details where their animals come from."  Mr. Urbani has repeatedly not responded to e-mails regarding this matter nor has Mr. Busch been able to provide me with an answer. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

January 9, 2007 

Mr. Urbani, 

As Petcetera has yet to stop selling intact rabbits, I am once again asking you to please provide me with the sourcing of the rabbits used to stock your lower mainland retail outlets. 

As you are aware, a BC SPCA press release in May of 2005 stated in part that "legitimate pet stores will be able to provide full details where their animals come from."  The welfare of rabbits is of concern to the public. 

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. 

December 17, 2006 

Hi Bob, 

I have been at the Rupert Petcetera several times over the course of the last two months and haven't seen any rabbits from the SPCA in the PAWS centre.  In fact, on today's visit one of the cages normally used for the rabbits was piled with Petcetera dry stock.  The sales associate on duty said she didn't know if any more rabbits would be arriving and that it would be a decision made by the SPCA.  

Are there going to be any more SPCA rabbits put into the PAWS program or have you discontinued the project, and if so, why? 

I look forward to your response. 

Vancouver SPCA rabbits



Cotton now has a home with me where he is very much loved 

Comment: There are numerous rabbit breeders in BC, mostly young girls and/or members of 4-H. Two sisters on Vancouver Island regularly churn out bunnies and over the years have expanded their business. Whether it’s dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, or reptiles it can be very lucrative.

The breeding and reselling of companion animals is unregulated, and backyard breeders are everywhere, profiting off the backs of misery. The Canada Revenue Agency is well aware of who some of these people are, (documentation has been provided by rescue groups and individuals who have tracked ads etc.), yet they remain in business. So why doesn’t the government crack down on this huge source of undeclared income?  

Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC: Report: 2005

February13, 2016 B.C. moving on tough new rules for commercial dog and cat breeders (update 2017)

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