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Pet Store Watch

The Avian Welfare Coalition is opposed to the breeding, mass-marketing, and selling of birds through pet stores. Because of the continuing exotic pet trade, thousands and thousands of displaced captive parrots and other birds are now awaiting adoption at bird adoption and rescue organizations. While many stores have responded to public pressure to discontinue puppy and kitten sales in favor of sponsoring adoption days, few have responded to the increasing exotic animal homelessness problem. In fact, they continue to market parrots and other exotics as "easy" pets, contributing to the epidemic. Exotic animals — including birds — make extremely demanding, difficult pets, and few stores are equipped or staffed to either care properly for the birds in their store or give educated advice to potential buyers. The AWC feels that pet stores should sell only quality supplies and not live birds or any other animals.


How to Spot a Bad Pet Store

Research the Laws Governing Pet Shops


The Current State of Pet Shop Laws

By Born Free USA


Current Law and Suggested Approaches to Improving Captive Bird Welfare
By Born Free USA


How You Can Help!

It’s up to you! Do not encourage or condone bad care standards by buying anything—animals or animal care products --from stores that sell live animals. Your dollar is your vote for change!


Support Compassionate Pet Supply Stores! Find compassionate pet supply stores that do not sell live animals in your neighborhood.


What To Do If You Observe Poor Pet Store Conditions

  • • Politely share your bird care knowledge with pet store staff and management.  Sometimes proper care is just a matter of proper education.


  • • Write factual letters of complaint to the pet store’s management and/or corporate headquarters.  Provide documentation of your observations. Threaten to boycott the store until they clean up their act.  Encourage your friends to do the same.


  • • Report any abuse of substandard conditions to your local animal shelter, humane society, bird adoption/rescue group, law enforcement agency, and or national animal welfare organization.


Free Downloadable Pet Shop Guide

Use this handy checklist designed as a quick guide to help animal advocates identify and document problems in pet shops, to aid in reporting conditions to law enforcement authorities, and to facilitate corrective action and routine inspections.


Note: Items covered in this checklist do not necessarily reflect legal requirements. Pet shop and anti-cruelty laws vary between states. For a summary of your state’s pet shop laws click here.