The Petco ad encouraging parents to buy small animals as Christmas gifts for children is being taken down tomorrow!
Whether you watch a lot of TV or not, chances are you’ve seen Petco’s advertising campaign encouraging people to buy others the gift of an animal this Christmas. While this may seem like a fun or great idea, it certainly is not. Why? Because according to the House Rabbit Society (rabbit.org)
“…many of the rabbits purchased as presents never live to see their first birthday. Some will die from neglect, while others will be abandoned in local parks or left at animal shelters…”
The fact of the matter is, these gifts are most likely to be bought for kids who are not capable of taking care of a rabbit. They may seem like they are easy to care for and low-maintenance, but it’s just the opposite.
When pets are given as gifts, it’s all fine and dandy at first! But when the novelty eventually wares off, so does the desire to care for an animal.
SO … when animal lovers all around the country saw Petco’s commercial, they (us included!) became extremely concerned. The commercial featured a tiny bunny and a tiny cage being sold as a “small animal starter kit” for $39.99.
This was the campaign on change.org.
The mother in the Petco holiday ad nonchalantly asked if the father placed the guinea pig in a box being violently shaken by the son–a horrible message to the public. Who does this? People who are uneducated in animal care, that’s who.
In the letter written to Petco’s CEO , Linda Sue, starter of the campaign, stated:
“The jail type cages Petco is selling for rabbits have insufficient room for living, a rabbit’s cage should allow enough room for it to turn around and take a few hops comfortably until safe play time is available during each day. Rabbits should not “live” or be housed in bedding because it causes respiratory issues, rabbits are easily litter trained (with safe litter) in a sufficient sized living area so they do not breath in toxic urine smells or live in feces.”
Other animal welfare supports and Petco customers threatened to never shop at the store again, writing educating messages pleading the company to take the commercial down.
Everyone’s hard work and persuasion made a victory, including the 4,813 who signed the petition.
Let’s keep the animals safe this holiday and instead ask ourselves if buying an animal for children is really a smart idea.