PETCO Moves to Adoption-Only for Rabbits

We’re very excited to announce that PETCO is expanding adoptions of rabbits in all of our stores nationwide!

As part of our commitment to saving more animal lives, we’re phasing out the sale of rabbits in stores where we now sell them, and reaching out to rabbit adoption groups to join with us in finding forever homes for more rabbits in those stores and all of our stores across the country. We’re looking forward to expanding our existing relationships with the many adoption groups we’re already working with, and pleased to offer this important opportunity to rabbit rescue groups nationwide.

Check out the news and a video about this exciting announcement below. We’re confident this is the right thing to do and we encourage all of our customers and all future pet parents to always Think Adoption First!

Marcie Whichard
Vice President of Animal Care & Education
PETCO Animal Supplies, San Diego


Contacts: Lisa Epstein, PETCO, 858.453-7845, ext. 2558;

National Retailer Invites Humane Societies, Rabbit Rescues to Adopt through its Stores

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 17, 2008) – PETCO is reaching out to animal-welfare agencies and local rescue groups in an effort to greatly increase the number of rabbits that find forever homes by offering adoptions at its stores nationwide, the company announced today.

PETCO works with rabbit groups in several areas to provide in-store rabbit adoptions, and now wants to expand that effort. In recent years, about a third of the company’s nearly 950 stores have offered neutered rabbits for sale. PETCO expects to phase out the sale of rabbits in favor of adoptions by early 2009.

“Moving to an all-adoption approach with rabbits is the right thing to do. 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 CEO Jim Myers said. “Rabbits are great companion animals, and we believe PETCO can play a pivotal role in partnering with animal-welfare groups to connect responsible pet parents with happy, healthy neutered rabbits through in-store adoptions nationwide.”

PETCO already has strong relationships with about 70 rabbit adoption groups – including the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society, the Oregon Humane Society, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, San Diego House Rabbit Society and the Escondido, Calif., Humane Society as well as other groups across the nation. The company is also communicating with the national House Rabbit Society to build additional relationships with local chapters and affiliates.

Marcie Whichard, PETCO vice president of animal care, education and compliance, said rabbits are the third most popular companion animals after dogs and cats. “We’re thrilled with the success of our relationship with our current rabbit group partners in providing forever homes for more and more rabbits. We look forward to reaching out to expand our network of relationships with other groups across the country. By working together – local rescue groups, PETCO and the PETCO Foundation – we can do great things on behalf of homeless rabbits.”

The company said it will partner with local rescue groups to:

- Provide habitat housing for adoptable rabbits in stores;

- Care for adoptable rabbits as part of the company’s industry-leading animal-care procedures to feed and monitor animals housed in PETCO stores; and

- Assist with the adoption of any relinquished rabbits in need of a forever home.

PETCO Foundation Executive Director Paul Jolly expressed support for the company’s shift to offer all-adoptable rabbits.

“This is a wonderful expression of our Think Adoption First philosophy. The PETCO Foundation will do our part to help build relationships with rabbit rescue groups and find forever homes for these lovable animals,” Jolly said. “As rabbits become even more popular as pets, it’s critical that families have access to happy, healthy, neutered rabbits – and PETCO stores provide an important channel to link these great animals with responsible pet parents. I encourage the rabbit-welfare community to help with this very important work to save rabbit lives and find them forever homes.”

Facts about rabbits

- Rabbits generally live from 5 to 12 years.

- They are intelligent, social animals that can become part of the family.

- Rabbits like to be near people and make wonderful companions.

- They are playful and often form close bonds with their pet parents.

- Rabbits can be litter trained.

- They require a great deal of interaction. Daily, supervised playtime and exercise outside of their habitat is necessary.

- As with any companion animal, properly caring for a rabbit requires a pet parent’s daily commitment, time and attention; PETCO recommends that an adult be the primary caretaker for rabbits.

To learn more about PETCO or the PETCO Foundation, visit For the latest news on anything and everything PETCO – including a video about this news announcement, visit the company’s blog at


PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. The company operates more than 900 stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at The PETCO Foundation, the retailer’s nonprofit organization, has raised more than $44 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the foundation, PETCO works with and supports more than 5,500 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.

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