Tell Petco and PetsMart to Stop Exploiting Birds
Exotic bird sanctuaries across the country are overwhelmed with hundreds of unwanted and abused birds in need of rescue and life-long homes while untold thousands more are languishing, deprived, and ignored in their cages because their "owners" have lost interest in them.
Despite their adoption programs for cats and dogs, PetsMart and Petco continue to peddle exotic birds into the pet trade every year. Unlike with cats and dogs, very few people are capable of providing adequate lifetime care for birds. Captive birds frequently suffer from captivity-related stress, leading to behavioral and physical problems. Birds sold as pets also very commonly suffer from nutritional diseases through the ignorance of those who purchase these exotic animals. Whether due to frustration, disinterest, or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility of caring for their birds. Unfortunately, few of these birds will find a loving home, and most will spend their days isolated and confined to their cages.
You can help!
Tell Petco and PetsMart to stop selling birds from breeders and to instead establish a bird adoption program for unwanted birds that thoroughly educates potential adopters about the special needs of these animals (a sample letter is below).
Attn: Customer Relations
19601 North 27th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Petco Animal Supplies
Attn: Customer Relations
9125 Recho Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
800-541-2952 or 858-453-7845
To Whom It May Concern:
You are in a unique position to dramatically change the lives of hundreds of birds. You can do this by eliminating the sale of exotic birds in your stores, and instead referring customers interested in birds to bird rescues, bird clubs, or other bird organizations. I urge you to seriously consider this step.
Large chain-style pet stores cannot easily ensure that the animals they sell will be properly cared for. In the case of birds this is especially so. Once the novelty of having an exotic bird wears off, many bird purchasers do not want to accept the lifelong responsibility for the bird's health and well-being. Whether this leads to frustration, disinterest, or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of that responsibility. Unfortunately, few of these birds find loving homes. Most spend their days isolated and confined to their cages. For an active, intelligent, social, flight-adapted animal, a life spent alone in a cage is incredibly cruel.
By treating birds like merchandise, your store contributes to the epidemic of abused and unwanted birds, and perpetuates the idea that animals are products to be used for our benefit and/or convenience. At the very least, you need to educate the public about the special needs of exotic birds, ensuring that potential bird "adopters" are thoroughly informed as well as capable of providing care for the birds purchased in your stores.
Regardless of your efforts, the adoption of exotic birds is best left to bird rescuers, who have the knowledge and motivation to properly care for birds and to assure that people who adopt an exotic bird are capable and prepared for the task.
Eliminating the sale of live animals, however, does not necessarily mean that your profits would suffer. The sale of animal products, food, toys, cages, etc., will ensure continued profits and eliminating costs for in-store animal maintenance will realize a store savings. Moreover, the positive public relations incurred from such a responsible decision will also benefit your store's bottom line.
You owe your company's success to animals. At the very least, you should consider their future welfare.