Say NO to mass adoptions events at PetSmart Langley, BC

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Dear Mr. McDormand

I am contacting you as a concerned animal lover with a simple request.  Please stop holding mass adoption weekend events.  This practice is in diametric opposition to animal welfare.  

Over the past few years there have an increase in adoption events hosted by PetSmart in partnership with local “rescue” organizations. These events are promoted throughout the media and often the event is described as saving death row dogs from Los Angeles or even as far as South Korea. While I applaud the intention to support local rescue organizations and homeless pets, I have serious concerns about the process by which these adoption events are held.

Often the ‘rescue’ participating in the events is bringing dogs in from outside Canada with little to no vetting or temperament testing, and an adequate decompression period after the stressful journey from another country is not being provided. I know of dogs that have been adopted through your stores that have been sick, injured, aggressive, or seriously stressed by the “mass adoption” model.



Dogs coming from outside of Canada can (and have) brought in diseases that do not exist here, and thus not only threaten other dogs, but also wildlife and in some cases, humans.  These models also put the dogs of your customers at risk. It is a plausible risk that a newly imported dog could be carrying an unknown virus, parasite, or other vector that can be transmitted to other pets or people.  What if another customer was in your store with their pet – particularly if either of them were to be young, immune compromised, or senior?

What about the dogs brought in by the rescues? How does PetSmart ensure that they are not sick, injured, vulnerable or traumatized? A mass adoption event at a busy pet store can be a terrible experience for some dogs.

The actual experience of the mass adoption event concerns me.  Adoptions done on-site, without homechecks, screening, and support, can have impacts that last for years. Dogs can be placed in homes that are not equipped to deal with any behaviour or health issues they may have. This is not fair to the animal; not fair to the family who adopted the dog in good faith; and a serious public health and safety concern.

It has also been brought to my attention that some stores are working with rescue organizations that are importing cats. Canada has a massive cat overpopulation problem. Bringing in more cats does not serve to advance animal welfare and in fact, creates a much bigger problem that many communities are currently struggling to respond to.

PetSmart is a flagship store in many of our communities, but I cannot support your store while these events continue to occur.  And I respectfully as that you use your position as manager of the Langley store to take a stance and end this inhumane practice.