Taking a page out of an old high school yearbook trick, an official with an animal rights organization successfully placed a hidden message in a brick on the grounds of the San Diego Padres new stadium, Petco Park.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had a 12-word statement engraved in an 8-by-8 inch brick -- the commemorative bricks were offered by the Padres as part of a permanent display surrounding the team's new $411 million stadium.
The message reads, "Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!" The first letter of every word spells "BOYCOTT PETCO."
"Petco Park might be the place were homers go to die, but PETCO stores are where animals go to die," said Dan Shannon, a PETA campaign coordinator.
PETCO, which has more than 650 stores in 43 states, sells animals as well as pet-related products. In January 2003, the company purchased the naming rights to the Padres' new stadium, a 22-year deal worth $60 million.
Earlier this week, Padres and PETCO officials discussed whether something should be done with the brick, but PETCO executives had no problem with it.
"If you walked by and read their message, you wouldn't know it had anything to do with PETA," said Don Cowan, PETCO's director of communications.
PETA, which objects to the sale of animals altogether, has targeted PETCO for months, written letters to Padres executives in hopes that they would cancel the naming rights agreement. They have also sent out monthly casualty reports citing animal deaths in PETCO stores to company officials.
PETCO officials contend that they have investigated some of the reports submitted by PETA and most, they say, are mischaracterizations. Since 1965, PETCO has adopted more than one million animals and over the past five years has given a total of $18 million to 1,900 animal shelters, according to Cowan.
Over the past month, Petco Park has generated 100 million online and broadcast media impressions for PETCO for mentions of the park's name, Cowan added.
PETA has been active in the sports world of late. In 2002, the Milwaukee Brewers denied PETA's request to include a vegetarian soy sausage in the Brewers' traditional game-day race of mascots, which includes a bratwurst, a hot dog, a polish and Italian sausage.
Shannon said that PETA plans on sending letters to the two NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunners, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, advising them to turn down the award since it is sponsored by "Got Milk?," a campaign overseen by the California Milk Processors Board. PETA officials say they object to the cruelty that dairy cows endure as a result of their treatment by dairy farmers.
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Originally posted by BigVitoMarkAs an aside, isn't it better to sell animals to people who want them than to leave them to die in the street/at the overcrowded shelter?
I think the answer to your seemingly hypothetical question is contained in the article. From above:
Originally posted by Dan Shannon, PETA campaign coordinatorPETCO stores are where animals go to die.
So since PETCO stores are where animals go to die, obviously PETCO must be selling dead animals. I think that should be clear from Mr. Shannon's statement. The alternative is that PETCO is selling animals that are very angry and upset, since they went to PETCO for the express purpose of dying, only to be sold by PETCO before being allowed to expire. One can only imagine the disappointment and frustration these animals must feel, having successfully journeyed to a PETCO store, fulling intending to drop dead on the premises, only to find themselves in the home of a loving and caring family or individual. I could be wrong, but I think I see the potential for a class action lawsuit here.
Now, left unsaid by Mr. Shannon is if these animals that are making the pilgrimage to PETCO to die are going there by subway or bus. Because I'm sure that if they are going to PETCO by driving SUVs, then Mr. Shannon's position would be that they deserved to die.
I don't condone PETA actions, but I will talk about Petco, as someone who managed there.
The top brass could care less about the animals. They want to crowd as many animals in one cage as possible. They don't provide proper medicine for sick animals. They push animals like hampsters that are horrible for kids.
The # of screaming kids pushing for hampsters then not taking care of them because they bite and are nocturnal numbers in the hundreds at my former store. The animals usually either died or came back horribly sick and malnourished or really mean and unsellable. The # of unsellable animals we had in the extremely crowded back room was bad. The extreme overcrowding caused bad stink and quick spreading of disease.
We were completely unable to not sell animals to people who weren't able to take care of them. A teenager wanting to seem cool would come buy a little igunana then put it in a 1 gallon aquarium with nothing. If it by some miracle survived, it'd be let go when it got 3 feet long or so. Nothing like long iguanas running around, until the winter time when they'd die.
This isn't to start on selling saltwater fish that come from extremely destructive harvesting techniques.
So in general Petco could care less about the welfare about their animals.
Was this in Canada or the US? If it were here, I'd say that you should probably report any violations to the ASPCA / Animal cruelty division of your local PD. I don't know about Canada, but I'm sure if the store you were at was breaking laws, that they would have been prosecuted.
Now, if it's the law that's the problem, you can't 100% hold any particular business accountable for the law - you have to go after the laws themselves.
I doubt that all Petco stores are the same as the one you were at. I hope that if you were to bring this information to their attention, that they would address it.
That said, let me put the fire to you - did you ever do anything about the conditions there after you quit? Moral crusader plays well on message boards, but it's much harder in real life.
I defend, because Petco is a) a local company and b) nothing like that here.
This is coming from a guy who used to legally sell reptiles at the swap meet. I don't agree with that being legal, but it was, and it was a way to earn some money in college. I've not made any moves to shut down the former business, because it closed years ago, but if the people I worked with were still running it, I would be.
At least the iguanas stood a fighting chance in this climate.
Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.