In 2006, the Albuquerque City Council passed the HEART (The Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment) ordinance in an effort to improve the lives of animals in Albuquerque. The HEART ordinance requires dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered without an intact animal permit; dog and cat breeders are limited to one litter per animal per year and no more than four litters per year in a household; and pet stores can no longer sell dogs and cats.
The spay/neuter mandate, the breeding limits, and the cat and dog sale ban are all attempts to decrease the numbers of animals euthanized at the Albuquerque city shelters. In 2009, Albuquerque euthanized 10,000 animals out of 26,000; a euthanasia rate of 38%, which adds up to about 71 animals killed each day in our city.
Unfortunately, the HEART ordinance does not include rabbits or other animals, which means that pet stores which want to profit off of the sale of these animals can do so without any interference.
Sadly, Petland, a national pet store with 140 stores across the US, just opened in Albuquerque. While Petland, which is the ONLY national pet store chain that still sells dogs and cats--even though 4-6 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in this country--cannot legally sell dogs and cats in Albuquerque, they still sell rabbits, birds, and small animals. Petland gets its puppies, kittens and bunnies from large commercial breeders called puppy (or kitten and bunny) mills. The breeders that supply Petland keep their animals in tiny, often filthy cages without any socialization for the sole purpose of supplying pet stores with animals. Animals are treated like a cash crop at these breeders, and once they are sold to Petland, they will be re-sold to any customer with the cash to buy them. Petland offers no care information with their animals, the animals are not spayed or neutered, and there's no attempt to determine if the buyer will provide an adequate home for the animals.
At the Petland in Albuquerque, there are about a dozen rabbits, all young and unneutered, and the owner is planning on selling lots of rabbits for the Christmas holidays. Many of these rabbits will be surrendered to the city shelters after the holidays are over, and some will be bred to create yet more unwanted rabbits. Why would our community accept a business that profits from animal suffering, and that contributes to the overpopulation problem at our city shelter?
New Mexico HRS urges our members and supporters to spread the word about the suffering associated with Petland, which also contribute to tragic pet overpopulation.
How You Can Help
Do not shop at Petland, and tell your friends, families and co-workers not to shop there
Adopt your next animal at a shelter or via a rescue group. New Mexico animal shelters take in 120,000 animals per year. On average, over half are euthanized.
Visit Petland (6600 Holly Avenue, off of Paseo del Norte), and politely ask the manager to stop selling rabbits. Tell her that the Albuquerque shelter takes in hundreds of rabbits per year, and that the shelter, and the rescue community, is overwhelmed already, and that the Petland rabbits which will end up at the shelter will just make things worse.
Organize a protest. Read Best Friends' information on organizing a peaceful pet store protest here.
Share the information from this webpage with as many people as you know. Like it on Facebook and Tweet it on Twitter!