Monday, January 4, 2010

Stop Selling Budgies in Pet Stores!

Jan 1, 2009, Petco (and many other pet stores) stopped selling rabbits in pet stores. However, they continue to sell budgies and other parrots (and birds). They stated that it was "good for animals, good for business" and cited their relationships with animal rights groups as an important component in the decision.

Budgies and other parrots are highly intelligent, arguably sensitive, animals. There are also a significant number available for adoption. Mary Ann was adopted, for example, via the Montgomery County (Maryland) animal shelter. At the time she was adopted, there were eight other budgies waiting to be adopted (granted, six of them were in a "custody dispute").

There are many wonderful, healthy birds out there; a search today on Petfinder had 1624 hits for adoptable birds. Searching only for budgies, I found 88 available for adoption.

My impression is that birds in pet shops are often inbreed (ref Lola and Mia), raised in tiny miserable cages, get little interaction, and as such, become psycho. I think budgie interest groups could serve a great function if they would undertake a campaign to convince pet shops to stop selling birds, and push for adoption, first. One of the problems with rabbits was that people would get them and consider them "disposable", and just get rid of them when they got tired of them. This is the same situation budgies are in now in pet shops. It makes me sad; and it makes me, and should make you, gentle reader, mad as well.

I belong to a facebook budgie interest group--I will raise this issue with them and see what they have to say. If every one of the budgie fanciers on facebook contacted Petco at I bet it would make a difference.

(photo from lili.chin flicker collection, available to anyone photos--thanks lili.chin!)

1 comment:

Hannah said...

I agree, in the aspect that birds should not be kept and raised in those huge group cages with no interaction. However, I also work for a small petstore, and want to point out that not all petstores are only there for the buck. Where I work, we hand feed and raise each bird, from budgies all the way up to macaws. Each bird is brought out of his cage everyday and put on stands next to the counter so they can interact with customers and staff. Its great for the birds and makes for a much nicer, friendlier pet.

As a bird owner, I also agree with adopting. However, one of the problems Ive run into with adopting is all the background checks, age restrictions, and just basic 'searching' me. Many rescues require an age of over 25 to adopt, and as a 19 year old, its much easier to walk into a petstore and buy my pet than worry about getting my parents to sign.

I agree, every bird is a person no matter how small. I own two handicapped budgies and two handicapped cockatiels, which many other people consider a disposable pet, and I am forever preaching proper health care to everyone. But, dont hate us all :o)

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple
Sutcliffe and Maryann in early 2007