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Taking the No Shock Collar Fight to Store Aisles

A while back, Stephanie Feldstein, the animals editor for, contacted me about our Never Shock a Puppy efforts. She asked a bunch of questions via email. I answered, and the result is this blog post. Many thanks to her for the interest and enthusiasm.

No Choke Challenge Ad[Speaking of news … Humane Society of Boulder Valley is launching its No-Choke Challenge today. The graphics are to die for. I promise we’ll write more about it in the coming days. Stay tuned!]

Now, Back to Our Scheduled Topic!

Lilly and I are so pleased that we can return the favor to Stephanie by asking those of you who agree with our very public stance against shock collars to sign this petition, asking Petsmart to stop selling shock collars. Please.

Hey, Petsmart, Put Your Money Where Your Mind Is

Or your mouth where your money is… or your shelves where your heart is… or some clever thing that I can’t quite work out yet.

Here is the beef.

Petsmart uses and touts reward-based dog training through its in-store dog training classes. During a tour of a Petsmart store as part of a VIP thing at the first BlogPaws event in Columbus, Ohio, last spring, our tour guides explained how Suzanne Hetts (who is a PhD animal behaviorist here in Colorado … I’ve known her for ages) helped develop the dog training programs Petsmart offers.

The company’s promotional materials for the classes brag that reward-based training is “scientifically proven to be the most effective method,” … yet, just down the aisle from their in-store classes, the company sells shock collars.

Wouldn’t you love to know how many they sell? Or, how much money the stores make off of shock collars? Do you think they make more from dog training classes or from shock collars?

The reporter in me is dying to know, but really … all that I care about … is that they stop selling shock collars both:

  • Because I oppose them on principle
  • Because people who buy them over the counter (as it were) are likely ill prepared to use them properly (if there is such a thing)

There is a widget in our blog sidebar for the petition, but we’re also posting it here.

We’d love your support.

Petitions by|Start a Petition »

This post is part of the quarterly Be the Change For Animals blog roundup. Blog the Change Check out the other causes pet bloggers are promoting today!

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Monica - January 19, 2011

THANK YOU! I absolutely hate the idea that people are buying these gizmos in the store and aren’t even learning how to use them correctly! It SCARES me because I can only imagine what those poor dogs are going through. People think they are the magic cure all, but I just wish they’d at least take a class on it. (Of course I would love it if they gave positive reinforcement a chance!)

Pup Fan - January 16, 2011

I hope Petsmart gets the message!

Ash - January 16, 2011

What a great way to take Never Shock a Puppy even further! I hope Petsmart will listen. It could be a great campaign of their own if they did remove them, showing consumers that they really do care for the well-being of your pets, not just their bottom line. Good luck!

Tena - January 15, 2011

I love the never shock a puppy campaign and i’m really hopeful the petsmart campaign is successful! The over-the-counter shock collars really scare me (not that them in the hands of a “professional” is much better)… Thanks for sharing!

    Roxanne Hawn - January 16, 2011

    Thanks, Tena. We agree. Putting these shock collars into the hands of people who are frustrated, of people who have NOT the learning theory, timing and temperament is a recipe for something bad.

CindyLu - January 15, 2011

I’m wondering, will we have to go after each store/chain one at a time until there are none on the market? And what about the internet?
Is there a way to promote education about this vile method? I’d really love to see that people chose to not buy the darn things. Or would education not change anything?
Sorry, I’m so against these collars, but not aware of the details of the issue!
Fantastic post, by the way!

    Roxanne Hawn - January 16, 2011

    CindyLu … the skeptic in me says that we’ll never make shock collars go completely away, but we can keep sharing our ideas with people. We can keep putting pressure on stores who say one thing and do another. We can keep helping our friends with other solutions to the top 5 reasons people to turn to shock collars. We can just keep talking about it so that people at least know that not everyone things hurting a dog to teach it a lesson is a good idea.

Stephanie Feldstein - January 15, 2011

That’s a fantastic campaign poster!

Thanks for keeping the cause going, Roxanne. We really need to get shock collars off the shelves.

    Roxanne Hawn - January 16, 2011

    It is. Isn’t it, Stephanie? Huge congrats the Boulder Humane’s agency who did the creative. Thanks to you for making this petition happen. We’ll do our best to get you all the signatures you need. I’ll be curious to see if Petsmart responds at all to the effort.

Lavi - January 15, 2011

Hmm, I guess they really should put their money where their mouth is. But hey, what wouldn’t people do for more money?
I hope your cause will succeed. Good luck!

    Roxanne Hawn - January 15, 2011

    Thanks, Lavi … we’ll see. I hope the petition elicits at least some sort of response.

Hilary - January 15, 2011

Thanks for writing about this; the petition is a great idea–gets people thinking. First Petsmart, then Petco… and all the other big box stores that sell shock devices.

Maggie - January 15, 2011

Signed and shared!

    Roxanne Hawn - January 15, 2011

    Thanks, Maggie and Edie … and everyone.

Edie Jarolim - January 15, 2011

Done! Thanks for posting.

Kristine - January 15, 2011

Of course I will sign it! Hopefully Petsmart will take the lead and encourage others to follow. It is really time stores took a stand for something. If they claim this is what they believe in then they should follow that all the way.

KenzoHW - January 15, 2011

Great cause, lets give those shock collars the boot. If Petsmart would do it, more follow (hey, petsmart is that not good PR?)

Deborah Flick - January 15, 2011

I so hope this campaign is successful. Thank you for writing about it.

Comments are closed