Activists Pressure Petco to Cut Ties with Animal Cruelty
Amy Meyer, April 28, 2021
A group of organizers passionate about shutting down Marshall BioResources, the factory farm of beagles, cats, ferrets and other animals supplying the animal experimentation industry, have been working together with Rise to pressure those that prop up this cruel company.
They planned a National Day of Action against Petco for supporting Marshall through their purchasing of Marshall ferrets and Marshall Pet Products. These companies are one and the same–the ferrets are bred at the same facility, and the same people profit.
The Day of Action was April 24th, World Day for Animals in Laboratories. Organizers in 15 cities participated and got some incredible results.
5 Victories to Celebrate from the Day of Action Against Petco
#1: Petco was forced to respond
A sympathetic Petco manager told Rise that the day after the protests, Petco Headquarters sent out an email alerting them about why people are protesting and what to do if their store is protested. That grew our message from 15 store managers to presumably all of them (approximately 1,500)!
Reaching Petco managers and staff is critical for our campaign. They work there because they love animals. They aren’t the ones putting profits above animal lives. Together, they have power to help us create change.
#2: Media near Marshall’s facility covered the issue
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of local organizers in Buffalo and Rochester, NY, local media covered their Petco protests. Not only did this educate thousands of viewers–it caught the attention of Petco, and likely Marshall as well.
#3: Petco headquarters received a special delivery
Local organizer Cami Hoffman brought her rescue beagle, Theo, for a powerful vigil at Petco’s San Diego Headquarters. Theo is a survivor of animal testing, and he was born at Marshall. Another beagle like him, Indy, only experienced a couple months of freedom from harm.
The vigil was in his memory and honor, and the activists who attended wrote the reasons why they thought Petco needs to drop Marshall on a long banner. The security officer found an executive team officer still in the building, and said he would deliver the banner to them, along with the flowers they brought in Indy’s memory.
#4: Organizers developed new skills
Skill-building is a critical part of grassroots organizing, and we saw so much of it this weekend. For some, this was the first protest they were the lead organizer! Two organizers conducted interviews with the media after some training and practice earlier in the week. Some activists did public speak outs for the first time about this issue. I’m blown away at the tremendous growth we’re seeing in our organizers, and it’s resonating with others too. More and more animal advocates are joining the movement. Their dedication and compassion is contagious.
#5: Thousands of Petco staff and customers learned about Petco’s ties to cruelty
After learning about why people were protesting, some Petco managers and staff told protestors that they support them, and didn’t even ask them to move to the public street. Organizers reported lots of sympathetic thumbs up and car honks, as well as positive conversations with Petco customers. Overall, customers were horrified to learn about Marshall and Petco’s ties.
I’m inspired by everyone who worked so hard to plan and take action this weekend. Seeing grassroots groups come together to focus on one issue was deeply motivating. I hope you’re feeling motivated and inspired too. We won’t give up until Petco stops supporting Marshall, and we finally shut down this dog factory farm.