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Monday, December 29, 2008

Petco Stops Selling Rabbits!!

NEW YORK -- Petco is now hopping to a different tune, as it announced it will cease rabbit sales, and only facilitate adoptions, after Jan. 1, 2009.
All of the rabbits in Petco stores at the start of the new year will still be eligible to find forever homes, just through an expanded adoption program.
"Moving to an all-adoption approach with rabbits is the right thing to do," Petco CEO Jim Myers said in a Nov. 17 release.
"We believe it's good for the animals, good for our business and is consistent with our Think Adoption First philosophy, in which we encourage prospective pet parents to consider adopting an animal rather than purchasing one."
Petco already has an adoption program instated for dogs and cats at its stores, and has partially worked to facilitate rabbit adoptions, as well.
The policy shift is likely to welcome an increased level of partnership with various animal-welfare agencies and local rescue groups, with which Petco already has partnerships, according to the release.
Rabbits, the third most popular companion animal in the United States, have been available for purchase at roughly a third of Petco's 950 stores in recent years. The remaining rabbits were processed through the company's adoption system, according to The SmallAnimalChannel News Division.
Petco already has "strong relationships" with about 70 rabbit adoption groups, including the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society and the San Diego House Rabbit Society, according to its release.
The franchise will seek to further these relationships, as well as establishing additional partnerships to assist in facilitating more adoptions.
Petco will also work to provide more habitat housing for adoptable rabbits in store, as well as caring for and feeding them.
The announcement has drawn praise from the Humane Society of the United States, which noted the apt timing of the program, given the spike of rabbit births in the springtime.
"The phaseout of rabbit sales by Petco is a great step forward to help homeless, adoptable rabbits across the country," said Adam Goldfarb, an HSUS issues specialist, in a Dec. 4 HSUS release.
"Rabbits are the third-most commonly surrendered animal to shelters after dogs and cats."
By replacing sales with adoptions, Petco, one of the largest pet supply chains in the country, can serve to curb homelessness and surrender rates, the HSUS said.

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