As one of the largest suppliers of live pets in the country, Petco handles a significantly large number of animals.
If you’re thinking of buying a pet from one of their stores or online and you’re wondering where they source them, we’ve done the research to provide you with the answers you need.
Where Does Petco Get Animals From In 2023?
Petco gets animals from several different sources, most of which differ based on where the store is located. Petco gets dogs, cats, and rabbits from animal rescue shelters, because the company provides these pets for adoption, as opposed to selling them directly. Most other animals sold at Petco, including rodents, birds, and reptiles, come from mills and breeders in 2023.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about where Petco gets animals, including a closer look into specific pet types and more information on suppliers!
Where Does Petco Get Cats From?
Petco gets cats from local rescue shelters and other animal welfare organizations because the company has opted to favor adoptions overselling them directly.
Unlike most pet retailers of its size, Petco has never sold cats and has always provided them for adoption.
All over the country, there are several cats that are either abandoned or strays, and they reproduce so often that adoption is a more sensible option to keep populations down.
Petco Love, formerly called the Petco Foundation, is the arm of the company that partners with local shelters that provide cats for adoption.
In return, Petco gives Petco Love the funding that is raised through donations and adoption fees.
Where Does Petco Get Dogs?
Petco gets dogs from rescue shelters and other animal welfare organizations around its locations because the company has chosen to promote adoption rather than selling them directly.
Like cats, Petco has never sold dogs. Aside from abandoned dogs, there are also several strays that need homes, and Petco connects them with people looking to get pets.
Petco has set up Petco Love, which was previously called the Petco Foundation, that partners with local animal rescue shelters that find dogs and connect them with customers.
In this arrangement, Petco raises donations and adoption fees that it gives to the shelters to keep them running.
Where Does Petco Get Ferrets?
According to several sources we’ve found, Petco buys its ferrets exclusively from Marshall Farms, also known as Marshall BioResources.
Marshall is located in North Rose, New York, with international branches in France, the U.K., China, and Japan.
This company is the largest breeder of ferrets in the world, selling them to pet stores like Petco and research facilities for animal testing.
In the past, Marshall has been cited more than 20 times by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Several animal rights activists and other concerned parties have called on Petco to break ties with the company, as it breeds ferrets, cats, and other animals in the same conditions as the mills the company avoids due to ethical concerns.
Where Does Petco Get Rabbits?
Petco gets rabbits and bunnies from rescue shelters and other animal welfare organizations around store locations.
Previously, Petco used to sell rabbits it got from breeders and mills, but, after pressure from rabbit welfare organizations, it switched to the adoption models.
According to information we found from the time on the discussions between the House Rabbit Society (HRS) and Petco, the deliberations leading to this decision apparently took several years.
During talks in 2002, the HRS put forward and tried out a model where it would supply rabbits from rescue operations to one Petco location to test out the proposed model and prove that it worked.
If this test run provided positive results, Petco was supposed to switch to providing rabbits for adoption instead of direct sale.
Petco pulled out of this plan and talks stalled for a very long while after that until the company finally made the announcement that it would stop selling rabbits and bunnies.
Like cats and dogs, Petco’s rabbits today come from the Petco Love partnerships with local rescuers who get funding in return through donations and adoption fees.
Where Does Petco Get Birds?
Petco gets birds from the Kaytee Preferred Birds program, a subsidiary of Kaytee Pet Supplies. Kaytee focuses on pet food and treats for birds and other small animals like rabbits.
According to a bird enthusiast forum we found, the Kaytee Preferred Birds program gets into agreements with breeders to supply them with pet birds, such as parrots, at a certain age, and then distribute them to chains like Petco.
Where Does Petco Get Rats?
Petco gets rats from breeders that include Barney’s Pets and Fish Mart, both of which we are aware of because of lawsuits involving rats brought against the company in the past, where they had to reveal where the animal originally came from.
Where Does Petco Get Guinea Pigs?
Petco gets guinea pigs from breeders such as Fish Mart and Barney’s Pets. It gets most of the rodents from the same places.
Where Does Petco Get Reptiles?
Petco gets reptiles from a variety of breeders and major pet importers, some of which include the following:
- California Zoological Supply (CalZoo) – this supplier is based in Costa Mesa, California, and it only sells reptiles to pet stores, including snakes, lizards, iguanas, bearded dragons, and chameleons
- Segrest Farms – this Petco reptile supplier is located in Gibsonton, Florida, and it only sells to pet shops. Its key focus is on fish
- Sandfire – Sandfire is located in San Diego, and it supplies different reptiles to Petco, including snakes, dragons, and geckos
- Lasco Inc – Lasco is a pet wholesaler based in Punta Gorda, Florida
- Center for Reptile and Amphibian Propagation (C.R.A.P.) – this breeder is based in Boerne, Texas, and supplies different reptiles to Petco, including tortoises, turtles, and lizards
Where Does Petco Get Fish?
Petco gets fish from breeders such as Segrest Farms and Fish Mart. Fish Mart is a major supplier for most pet stores, while Segrest is the biggest supplier of tropical freshwater fish in the world.
Petco gets animals from large scale breeders or suppliers working with the company unless the animal is made available through adoption, in which case it’s available through partnerships with animal welfare organizations.
Petco gets cats, dogs, and rabbits from animal rescue shelters, and puts them up for adoption.