When you think about it…should pet stores sell pets?

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When you think about it…should pet stores sell pets?

[Ed. Note: See the horrible story of one pet store bird: Angel's Story. Some good news: Two Canadian pet stores stop selling puppies, will instead promote adoption.]

From The National Humane Education Society (NHES)
August 2011

Pet stores should be in the business of educating the public on pet care—not making a buck off the backs of these helpless creatures.

With pet overpopulation problems in almost all areas of the country, should pet stores be selling pets? The answer is a resounding, “No.”

Pet stores should be in the business of educating the public on pet care—not making a buck off the backs of these helpless creatures. Too many stores continue to sell cats and dogs when animal shelters in the same area are killing healthy, adoptable cats and dogs. Pet stores also sell “pocket pets,” a term used to describe small animals such as birds, fish, gerbils, guinea pigs, reptiles, and sometimes rabbits.

The animals are often shipped long distances from where they were bred to where they are sold, and many die in transit before reaching the pet store. Once at the pet store, they may be housed in inadequate and unsanitary cages. Staff at some pet stores are undereducated, or not educated at all, in the proper care of the animals so feeding, habitat, and water needs may go unmet. They receive little or no veterinary care and may be left in a back room among the stock to die.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have laws pertaining to pet stores but most fail to protect the animals’ welfare. While further legislation, which could require strict licensing and inspection requirements and ensure pet store personnel be trained in proper animal care and handling, may help protect animals, wouldn’t it just be easier to stop buying animals from pet stores? When you think about it, where there is no demand, there will be no supply.