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Over the years, Petco has faced near-constant accusations and concerns about its treatment of animals, prompting calls for change and reform. Unfortunately, little has been done to make changes in their behaviors towards those that they aim to help. In this article, we will explore nine examples of such accusations and concerns, shedding light on the relationship between Petco and animal welfare.

1. In 2004, Petco was accused of sourcing and selling puppies from puppy mills to their customers. Puppy mills are known for their inhumane breeding practices and poor treatment of animals. According to Petco, these claims are not true. But, a three-month undercover investigation into the company did reveal that they were sourcing their puppies from less-than-satisfactory places. 

2. In 2010, Petco faced criticism for selling parakeets that were kept in small, crowded cages. In addition, people made claims that the company was providing inadequate care to the birds. Animal rights activists believe that live birds should not be sold at all, let alone in these conditions.

3. In 2013, PETA brought a lawsuit against Petco alleging that the company was selling animals that were sick, injured, or dying without letting their customers know.

4. In 2017, an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) found that Petco was purchasing animals from a supplier with numerous Animal Welfare Act violations. When brought up, Petco denied the allegations

5. In 2018, Petco was accused of selling betta fish in small cups of water, which can lead to health problems for the fish. Despite the uproar, you can still find betta fish in these containers in some stores.

6. In the same year, HSUS investigated a Petco supplier and found animals living in filthy conditions, without adequate food, water, or medical care. Again, these allegations did not damage Petco’s reputation nearly as much as they should have. 

7. In 2020, an investigation by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) found that Petco was profiting off of animals that were raised in inhumane conditions and suffering from health problems.

8. In the same year, PETA accused Petco of selling live animals online to people who do not have the knowledge or resources to take care of them. They did not put people through a vetting process before allowing them to purchase an animal.

9. In February 2023, at a Petco in Fort Myers, Florida, dozens of live animals were found tossed in the dumpster. Of the animals found there were 20 fish and 10 shrimp.

Petco has made some efforts to respond to concerns about animal welfare, but the company continues to face criticism and calls for reform. But, in the grand scheme of things they often fail to make changes and instead opt to sweep things under the rug.

As consumers, it’s important to be aware of the issues that have been raised and to make informed choices about where we purchase pet supplies and services. By holding companies accountable for their treatment of animals, we can work towards a future where Animal rights and welfare are top priorities in the pet industry.

Sign this petition to urge Petco and Petsmart to shut down inhumane breeders.

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shopping. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

Tiny Rescue Animal Collection
Tiny Rescue Animal Collection

Speak Up Tee By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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