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PETsMART's Turn To End Large Bird Sales

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Philip L. Francis, Chair and CEO
19601 N. 27th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
ph: 1-800-738-1385, 623-580-6100; fax: 623-580-6502

Dear Mr. Francis,

I have always admired PETsMART’s efforts to promote the adoption of homeless cats and dogs through its cooperative work with local rescue groups. However, I am disheartened PETsMART continues to showcase and sell parrots, cockatoos, and other large birds.

Please follow PETCO’s progressive lead by terminating the sale of large birds. PETCO will no longer support a trade that breeds for profit with little attention to the intelligent birds fated to live as flightless, caged “toys.”

Shoppers who impulsively snatch these beautiful birds are commonly unqualifi e d for years of specialized care. Even if PETsMART provided detailed instructions with each purchase, it could not stop birds from growing neurotic and self-destructive. They pluck out their own feathers, systematically bob their head s, and scream for other birds who aren’t there—until frustrated caretakers banish them to a closet or base ment.

In the wild, large birds live within a flock, flying, play i ng, and incubating their eggs together. As “pets” they languish in solitary confinement, sometimes for decades. Ma ny are handed from home to home, let out to defend themselves in unfamiliar habitat, or discarded at animal shel ters.

Moreover, when PETsMART markets large bi r ds, it helps keep factory-style breeding operations in business. Bird mills annually produce thousands of birds. &ldq uo;Breeder” birds are restrained in nest boxes without enough space to fully expand wings or properly preen.

Each year, tens of tho u sands of parrots and other birds are abducted from their native environment and illegally sold around the world. Birds are smuggled out in tiny enclosures, some even crammed into socks, shoes, small boxes, or paper towel rolls! Up to half of these scared, hungry, dehydrated birds perish before reaching foreign shores.

I strongly encou r age PETsMART to disassociate its good name from this vile industry. Please do not sell large birds. Instead, I urge y ou to work with accredited bird rescue groups as part of an in-store adoption program similar to your cat/dog programs.

Thank you f or your valuable time and consideration.

Sinc e rely,

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PETA’s Animal Times
Summer 2005
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