Partnerships with pet sellers is about money -
not animal welfare


November 4, 1997: Nicholas Read:
SPCA wrong to associate with new pet store

Posted By: AAS
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 10:46 a.m.

In Response To: The sugar glider (AAS)

Nov 4, 1997

"SPCA wrong to associate with new pet store"

by Nicholas Read

Firm will see exotic animals, which cannot be cared for in captivity, perpetuating inhumane attitudes, practices.

This Friday a new kind of pet-supply store will open in Vancouver. Modeled in part on PETsMART, a giant U.S. chain, Petcetera will have SPCA dogs and cats for adoption among its stacks of dog and cat food.

It will have a special shelter for 10 rescued animals, who will be adopted out exactly as they are at the SPCA. Even the adoption fees will be the same, going partly toward spaying or neutering the animal and partly to SPCA coffers.

PETsMART has been doing the same thing in its U.S. and Canadian stores for years, but Petcetera, at the corner of Grandview and Rupert, is the first store of its kind to do it in Vancouver.

However, Petcetera will be selling other kinds of animals for profit, just like PETsMART. Opposite the makeshift shelter there will be an appalling array of birds, fish, rodents and even reptiles for sale; company vice-president Dan Urbani calls it the "livestock section."

It's living proof of the Orwellian maxim that some animals are more equal than others.

Urbani defends the practice saying that "customers demand it." He also says that none of the animals sold will be wild-caught. Instead, they all will come from "reputable" Lower Mainland breeders.

Fair enough, but from an ethical point of view, it's still indefensible. Selling living creatures for profit and amusement is wrong - especially exotic animals like reptiles which can't be looked after properly in captivity.

From a business point of view, it's understandable. Petcetera wants to make money; if it can make it selling birds and reptiles for profit it will. At least it's seen the light where dogs and cats are concerned.

But what about the SPCA? Is it right that an organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals will benefit from an association with a company whose business practices perpetuate inhumane attitudes and practices?

The SPCA deals with all kinds of rescued animals, including birds and rodents. Until now, reptiles went to the Rainforest Reptile Refuge in Surrey, but it can no longer accept more snakes, lizards or turtles because it's overrun with them.

At SPCA shelters, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs are put up for adoption every day.

Yet here is the SPCA giving its tacit approval to disseminating even more of these animals through its association with Petcetera.

Petcetera says that once its other Lower Mainland stores have opened - in about 30 months - it hopes to contribute $1 million to the SPCA. That's quite a carrot. The SPCA needs money to operate and Petcetera needs the SPCA to legitimize its cat-and-dog adoption schemes.

But it still means the SPCA is compromising what should be inviolate principles. Cruelty is cruelty, no matter what kind of animal is involved.

SPCA Greater Vancouver regional director Doug Hooper says he is satisfied that Petcetera is well-intentioned and that animals sold for profit will suffer no harm in breeding or transport. He also believes their sale will for an insignificant part of Petcetera's business.

Perhaps, but exotic animals bred domestically are still exotic animals, unfit for domestic sale. And while it's understandable that the SPCA would wish to champion what's right about Petcetera's policies - and reap a $1-million reward in the bargain - that doesn't excuse it overlooking what's wrong.

Wither the SPCA?
AAS -- Friday, 18 March 2005, at 7:07 a.m.
Watching for signs of real reform by the BC SPCA is like watching paint dry
AAS -- Friday, 18 March 2005, at 7:28 a.m.
I am also waiting for the SPCA to push for laws around breeding dogs
Lori Cumiskey -- Friday, 18 March 2005, at 1:36 p.m.
Quick SPCA! Grab bats!
AAS -- Friday, 18 March 2005, at 5:32 p.m.
Oh...too late, but maybe worms are still available *LINK*
AAS -- Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 7:13 a.m.
The sugar glider
AAS -- Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 10:45 a.m.
November 4, 1997: Nicholas Read: SPCA wrong to associate with new pet store
AAS -- Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 10:46 a.m.
November 18, 1997: Nicholas Read: Petcetera stocks wild-caught animals; it said it wouldn't. Shame on the SPCA for its affiliation with this firm
AAS -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 3:27 p.m.
November 25, 1997: Nicholas Read: The Vancouver SPCA and Petcetera have agreed that exotic animals will no longer be sold
AAS -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 3:29 p.m.
Re: November 3, 1998: Nicholas Read: Pet shop will take exotic animals off sales list
AAS -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 3:31 p.m.
Thank you Shirley Henderson
AAS -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 3:33 p.m.
An animal in a cage is not a pet - it's a prisoner
AAS -- Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 10:52 a.m.
SPCA: "Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that is doing just the opposite
Carmina Gooch -- Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 9:48 p.m.
The SPCA talks out of both sides of its mouth
Carol Sonnex -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 7:12 a.m.
ANIMAL WELFARE from a Pet Store
Carol Sonnex -- Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 6:28 p.m.

Animals' News Room

To the BC SPCA Board of Directors: Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 3 April 2005, at 10:10 a.m.

----- Original Message -----
From: Carmina
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 10:05 AM
Subject: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

April 3, 2005

To: Ms. Troman,

Please read and acknowledge my letter to Mr Daniell and distribute to all the members of the Board of Directors of the BC SPCA.

Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

I have just had a telephone conversation with a staff member at the Surrey SPCA. I was told that if I was to bring in a couple of stray rabbits they would be held for six days, and after that the likelihood of them being killed was exceedingly high. There is space allocated for only a minimal number, there is virtually no call for rabbits after about six months of age, and yet people constantly turn in their unwanted pet rabbits. To accept and then kill them is not animal welfare.

Mr. Daniell, it has been no secret that multitudes of healthy rabbits have, and continue to be killed for lack of space. How can you say otherwise?

Feral colonies are increasing, Petcetera and other retailers have an endless supply, and despite growing demands from society that these issues be addressed, rabbits remain overlooked by your organization.

Now too, the Youth Program has undergone "restructuring", the previous staff (except one) has been let go, and most volunteers have left. The hours of operation at the centre has been reduced, and after the nine rabbits housed on site at the moment are no longer, there will probably be only "two demonstration animals."

Can you please tell me how you are committing to the welfare and advocacy of rabbits?

cc: Craig Daniell

Carmina Gooch