You’ve probably seen a lot of anti-Petco material courtesy of PETA, who was pushing Petco to make some signficant changes in how they do business. Thankfully, the two have reached an agreement and the winners are the animals. (In case you wonder about the good, positive work that PETA does that doesn’t usually get recognition in the press, this is a great example.)
The major change is that Petco will no longer sell large birds, a smart move because people buying their large birds from Petco probably don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into. Besides, should large birds really be family pets?
Smaller, but still significant, changes include separating rats and mice by gender, to avoid breeding.
My wife and I are looking to adopt a dog in the coming months and because of that, I’ve been thinking more and more about companion animals and how we look at them. A lot of my views have changed… for instance, several years ago I would have thought it was just fine to buy a purebred dog from a breeder. Today, though, I look at all the animals that wind up in shelters or rescues and can’t think of any reason that I’d go to a breeder (or, *shudder*, a mall pet store) when looking to adopt. I think there are just too many great animals that need homes for breeders or puppy mills to be adding to the pet population.
Something else I’ve noticed: small, independent pet stores are getting as hard to find as independent book stores. There just aren’t many around and I fear that I won’t have any choice but to visit the local Petco when we adopt our dog. But, that’s another post I’ve been saving up…